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Primary Children’s Medical Center: Water Safety

Janet Brooks, Child Advocacy Manager with Primary Children’s Medical Center, discusses what you need to know about keeping your children safe this summer.


The main message to parents is “Don’t Just Be There. Be Aware” Here are some things you need to know.

• A small child can drown in as little as an inch of water

• Drowning is the second leading cause of death among Utah children under the age of 14

• 35 children ages birth to 19 died by drowning from 2003-2005

• 18 of the 35 deaths occurred in open bodies of water (lakes, rivers, etc.)

• Water accidents are also a major cause of life-altering brain injuries every year

The Water Safety program encourages Utahns to supervise their children at all times whenever they are around water:

Never leave a child alone around any water

Never leave children in a bathtub alone or with an older brother or sister

Teach children to swim, but remember, there’s no substitution for 100% supervision

The Water Safety program is part of the Primary Children’s Medical Center program dedicated towards child advocacy.

DROWNING RISK FACTORS:

• Family gatherings near pools, lakes and rivers pose the greatest threat to children ages 5 and under

• Inadequate Supervision: the person supposed to be watching the child looked away or left the area for “just a minute”

TIPS:

• General Water Safety:

o NEVER take your eyes off of children in the water

o While supervising, stay alert and avoid distractions

• Open Water and Boating Safety:

o Use approved life jackets

o Read and obey all posted rules

• Pool and Hot Tub Safety:

o If a child is missing, always check the pool first

o Enclose pools with self-closing and locking fences

• In and Around the Home Safety:

o NEVER leave a child alone around any water

o Never leave a child in a bathtub alone or with an older sibling


More information regarding Water Safety can be found by visiting: www.primarychildrens.org or www.health.utah.gov/vipp

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