SAN DIEGO–With schools ending for summer break, many families with young children will be near community and backyard pools over the next several months. County officials and their community partners are reminding parents to think safety first when children are swimming.
“It’s tragic to hear about the death of a child due to accidental drowning,” said Chairman Greg Cox, County Board of Supervisors. “It can almost always have been prevented by keeping an eye on kids all the time they are in the water.”
Drowning is the leading cause of death due to injuries for young children ages 1 to 4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationally, three children die every day as a result of drowning. In San Diego County in 2012, there were seven drowning deaths of children age 14 and younger. So far in 2013, there have been four children’s deaths from drowning.
“When children are near or around water, it is critical to give them 100% attention,” said Debra Zanders-Willis, director of County Child Welfare Services. “With young children, it is important to know they can drown not only in pools but also in as little as a few inches of water.”
In addition to being watchful of kids in water, parents are also reminded that plastic inflatable flotation devices are not life jackets and should never be substituted for adult supervision. Adults should also know the address of their location in case they need to call emergency personnel.
Educating residents about safe recreation is an important goal of Live Well San Diego, the County’s ongoing initiative to improve health and safety of residents.
“We want residents to always keep water safety in mind when kids are swimming so that they and their families can have fun and be safe this summer,” Zanders-Willis said.