May is Childhood Drowning Prevention Month

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Governor JB Pritzker has proclaimed May as Illinois Childhood Drowning Prevention Month, reminding parents of the importance of constantly supervising children when they are in or near water to avoid the tragedy of accidental drowning deaths. In 2022, 15 Illinois children lost their lives to accidental drowning: nine in pools, two in bathtubs, two in ponds, one in a creek and one in a lake. Seven of the children who drowned in pools were age 5 and younger. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 to 4 and the second leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 to 14. For every child who dies from drowning, another eight receive emergency department care for non-fatal drowning. Follow these safety tips to help protect children and prevent water-related tragedy:


• Never leave a young child alone in a bathtub or rely on a bathtub seat for safety.

• Secure the toilet lid. Curious toddlers could tip headfirst into a toilet, risking drowning.

• Don’t allow children to play alone in the bathroom.

Portable or inflatable pools

• Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security because of the shallowness of baby pools. A child can drown in as little as one inch of water.

• Empty the pool immediately after use and store it upside-down.

Swimming pools and hot tubs

• Keep ladders, patio furniture and toys away from above-ground pools.

• Install a four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate around all pools and spas.

• Keep the pool and deck clear of floats, balls and toys after you leave the pool.

• Learn CPR and keep rescue equipment, a phone and emergency numbers by the pool. The American Red Cross offers online CPR training classes • anyone can take at their own pace from the convenience of home.

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