Watch children around water

February 5, 2014

Children and Teens, Parenting

by Joanne Henning Tedesco —

Drownings are the second leading cause of accidental childhood death in Arizona. Drowning hazards can be found everywhere.

Drownings are the second leading cause of accidental childhood death in Arizona. Drowning hazards can be found everywhere.

Drownings are the second leading cause of accidental childhood death in Arizona. Drowning hazards can be found everywhere. A swimming pool, pond, lake, canal, bathtub or toilet — even a bucket of water can spell disaster for a child.

Seconds count if a child goes under water, and usually there is not even a single warning sound.

Drowning timeline

  • 30 seconds to 1 minute — The airway closes; child’s lips turn blue.
  • 1 to 2 minutes — The child loses consciousness.
  • 2 to 5 minutes — The heart can stop; the child still has a chance of survival if rescued now.
  • 5 minutes plus — Permanent brain damage occurs as each second ticks by.
  • 12 to 24 hours after resuscitation — A child who seems fine is still at mortal risk. Brain cells damaged by lack of oxygen start to swell, following what physicians call the “honeymoon phase.” The swelling puts pressure on the brain. Without medical attention, permanent damage or even death can occur.

Do not let your child become a statistic. You can minimize your child’s risk of drowning by following a few precautions.

  • Never leave your child unsupervised near water
  • Many children perish in as little as two inches of water.
  • Make sure you are CPR trained, as well as anyone else responsible for watching your child.
  • Consider a pool fence or barrier if you don’t already have one. Make sure pool gates are equipped with self-latching, self-locking features. Consider alarms and automatic interior door locks.
  • Make sure your pool party has a “water watcher” who never takes their eyes off the swimmers.

 

Resource: Rural/Metro Fire Department and SRP Safety Connection.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 3, June/July 2005.

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