As summer continues in North America, and for anyone who goes near the water during any time of year, prevention of drowning is very important. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) takes its responsibilities on this issue seriously, and in 2010 issued a policy statement on prevention of drowning. This is a remarkable and well-thought out document that addresses all of the important issues associated with risk for and prevention of drowning. The online version of the policy statement, along with updated information and services, is available on the web.
The document points out that, historically, drowning has been the second leading cause of unintentional death in individuals aged one to 19 years, causing more than 1,100 deaths per year in the United States alone.
The AAP defines drowning as “the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid.” It does not imply any particular outcome. Persons may “drown” and survive. The categories of outcomes include:
- no morbidity
- morbidity (moderately disabled, severely disabled, vegetative state/coma, and brain death)
There is a discussion of entanglement in drains, particularly in females who are underwater with long hair near a suction outlet. Inflatable pools pose a particular hazard if they are not fenced.
The AAP has previously taken the stance that children are not developmentally ready for swimming lessons until after their fourth birthday. They based this opinion on factors including: Read more »
This post, Swimming May Not Be As Safe For Your Children As You Think, was originally published on Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..