Water Safety Tips for Parents
Drowning is swift and silent. People tend to drown in silence and without attracting attention. Their struggle to breathe and stay afloat rarely enables them to wave their arms or call for help.
Close supervision in and around water is your child's best protection.
Idaho has the second highest unintentional drowning rate in the nation for the 1 to 5 year-old age group with a rate of 6.14 per 100,000 population; second only to Florida, which leads the nation in drowning deaths in this age group (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), WISQARS, 2006).
Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children between the age of 1 and 14 (CDC).
Nine people drown in the United States every day (CDC).
Approximately 75% of child drownings occur because of a lapse of adult supervision for less than five minutes.
Drownings are preventable!
Most drownings can be prevented by restricting swimming areas, providing proper signage, fencing pool areas and waterways, having lifeguard supervision, wearing life jackets, and carefully watching children while they bathe.
Know your limits - Drowning often happens when someone swims and gets too tired.
Ways to be safe:
- take swimming lessons
- learn to float and tread water
- swim in lifeguarded areas
- have parental/adult supervision
- avoid swimming while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
Know the water - Idaho's lakes and rivers can be cold enough to cause hypothermia, even in the summer and even among the strongest swimmers. NEVER SWIM IN AN IRRIGATION CANAL OR DITCH; these waters flow swiftly and once in the water, exit is extremely difficult.
Ways to stay safe:
- wear a lifejacket
- avoid swimming or boating in high water
- check water conditions, never dive or jump into unfamiliar or shallow water
- swim in designated areas only
Wear a lifejacket - 75% of boating fatalities could have been prevented if the victim was wearing a lifejacket.