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- Drowning is the leading cause of death for Oklahoma children aged 1-4.
- Over half of drownings or near-drownings among children less than 5 years of age occur in home swimming pools and nearly one-quarter occur in bathtubs.
- Most young children who drowned in pools had been in the home, out of sight only a few minutes, and were under the supervision of their parents.
- Young children do not understand the consequences of falling into water and cannot call for help once they are in the water.
- Always stay close and watch children when they are in or near water, even if they know how to swim. Never leave a child unsupervised, not even for a minute.
- Don’t be distracted – pay attention! Have a dedicated ‘water watcher’ and take turns with other adults.
- Keep a phone nearby in case of emergency.
- Swimming lessons for children greatly reduce drowning risk.
- Learn child and infant CPR. Early intervention can improve outcomes.
- Swimming noodles and water wings are not safety devices – they should never be used in place of life jackets.
Pool and Hot Tub Safety
- Install a self-closing, self-latching gate and pool fencing that completely surrounds the pool that is at least 4 feet high and has no vertical opening more than 4 inches wide.
- Install safety drain covers and back up devices. Teach children not to play near drains.
- Always completely remove the pool cover. Never allow puddles to collect on the cover.
- Follow the same tips for above ground pools, and install a gate around the pool ladder or remove the ladder when the pool is not in use.
- Install door and window alarms to alert you if a child wanders out of the house.
In the Home
- Stay within an arm’s reach of your child near the bathtub, toilets, or buckets.
- Never leave your child alone or in the care of an older child during bath time.
- After bath time, immediately drain the tub.
- Empty all buckets and containers after use. Store them upside down. Children can drown in only a few inches of water!
Open Water and Boating
- Swimming in open water is not the same as in a pool. Be aware of uneven surfaces, currents, undertow, and weather.
- Children should wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.
Injury Prevention Service, OSDH, 1000 NE 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117
Revised July 2012
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