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The Number One Cause Of Accidental Death In Children Is…

By Danielle Sullivan |

drowning number one cause of death children, drowning death kids, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, swimming children, water safety

The summer season is just a little over couple of months, yet it has the number one leading cause of accidental death in children.

Summer is just around the corner and that means kids are out and about more often. They’ll be on less restrictive schedules, and we’ll all enjoy parties, vacations, and free play.

Yet summer poses certain safety risks for which parents need to take precautions.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just released a report, which states the number one leading cause of accidental in children, and it happens most often in the summer months. The federal report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that “drowning kills more American children 1 to 4 years old than any cause except birth defects.”

Every year, there are wrenching reports on the news of kids drowning on the beach and in pools. The CDC reports that half of child drownings occur in swimming pools, usually after young children have snuck out of the house without the parents’ noticing. Drownings occur in males four times more often than in females.

Of course, increased supervision, safety gates and locks, and swimming lessons help. Here are some additional tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

—All caregivers should learn CPR.

—Never leave a toy in or around a pool.

—Never leave a child alone in or near a pool.

—Make sure an adult is always within arm’s length.

—Children ages 1 to 4 years old should take swimming lessons. But remember that teaching children to swim does not guarantee their safety in the water.

—Teach children to never run, push, or jump on others around water.

—Teach them never to swim alone.

—Keep a phone by the pool, along with rescue equipment, such as a life preserver and a shepherd’s hook — a long pole with a hook at the end.

—Pools should be surrounded by a fence at least 4-feet high. Pool gates should self-close and self-latch at a height unreachable by small children.

—If you have an inflatable or plastic pool, empty it after each use and turn it upside down.

Image: iStock

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About Danielle Sullivan


Danielle Sullivan

Danielle Sullivan writes for Babble Pets. She is also an award-winning parenting writer, who authors a monthly column for NY Parenting and ASPCA Parents blog. You can read more of her work at her blog,Some Puppy To Love. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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4 thoughts on “The Number One Cause Of Accidental Death In Children Is…

  1. CAM says:

    It’s so important to point out as well that you should never assume someone else is watching your child. Over the summer, the kids are always running around together and it’s so easy to assume that with so many adults around someone would notice if something happened. We try to take turns on pool patrol- I’ll stand by the pool with my hubby or a friend for a half hour to have peace of mind the whole party!

  2. Danielle Sullivan says:

    @Cam That is an excellent point- so many children get hurt with adults present for the exact reason you outlined. Great thing for all of us to remember going into this summer.

  3. Lissa says:

    these should be posted on the main page all summer – thank you!

  4. BettyGrant says:

    is not circumcision. Pools are dangerous and yet lots of families choose to have them. Why would you risk the potential death of your child for an afternoon swim. Seems pretty selfish.

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