Stories about: drowning

Water safety: Swimming pools aren’t the only drowning risk for toddlers

Lois Lee, MD, MPH
Lois Lee, MD, MPH, works in Boston Children’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program.

Every summer seems to bring a tragic reminder of the need for vigilance around children and swimming pools.

Drowning is the second leading cause of injury related death for kids in the U.S. One of the most common scenarios for these accidents involves toddlers drowning in swimming pools—usually when the parent thinks the child is safely inside the house.

Unfortunately, at this age, if a child ends up face down in the water, she usually does not have the cognitive ability or the coordination to pull herself out. Infants can drown in a just a few inches of water in the bathtub, which is why they should NEVER be left unsupervised in the tub. Toddlers can drown in water that is at a level less than their own standing height; so again, they should never be left unsupervised where there is standing water. This includes swimming pools, garden ponds, five gallon tubs and even toilets.

Every parent knows that toddlers need to be closely supervised at all times, but it only takes a blink of an eye for a toddler to wander away and get injured, especially around water. Considering the potential danger water poses, here are some important water safety practices every family should know.

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David Mooney talks to NECN about summer safety

David Mooney, MD, MPH, director of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Trauma Program, is interviewed about summer safety on New England Cable News.

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Swimming lessons may protect toddlers

37739985.thbHow young is too young to teach children to swim? It’s a question that arises each summer as children flock to pools to cool off, since drowning is the second leading cause of death due to injury among U.S. children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated that children under 4 aren’t developmentally ready for swimming lessons, but a recent study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine contradicts previous recommendations, suggesting that basic swimming skills can be taught at a young age and may offer children some protection in an emergency situation.

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