McKenzie Pediatrics 2015
- Fatal drowning claims the lives of an annual average of 1100 children under age 20 years
- An average of 3800 children annual are seen in an ED for a nonfatal drowning event…more than 60% of these are hospitalized
- Risks: drain entrapment and/or hair entanglement, inflatable portable pools, in-ground pools, standing water in buckets or troughs or toilets, bathtubs (esp. if left unmonitored in bath seat that tips), unmonitored play near natural bodies of water or irrigation ditches
- Children are NOT developmentally ready for swimming lessons until after their fourth birthday, though “mommy and me” water classes in ages 6 months and older are acceptable so long as the parent understands that such lessons do not constitute “swim lessons” but rather teach water familiarity
- Never, even for a moment, leave a young child unmonitored or in the care of another young child near bathtubs, pools, spas, hot tubs, wading pools, irrigation ditches, or any natural body of water
- Identify all water risks near the home and near the home of a daycare provider as well.
- Safety barriers for home pools are available online from the CPSC
- Do NOT use air-filled swimming aids (such as inflatable arm bands) but instead use personal floatation devices (PFDs, “life jackets”)
- Children should be taught never to swim alone and not to swim without adult supervision
- Parents, caregivers, and pool owners should learn CPR and keep life buoys, life jackets, and a reach tool such as a shepherd’s crook at poolside
- All children should be required to wear a PFD when riding in watercraft
- Know the depth of the water and location of underwater hazards before permitting jumping or diving
Portable Above-Ground Pools
- 209 fatal and 35 nonfatal submersion cases in US from 2001-2009.
- 94% involved children under the age of 5.
- 73% occurred in the child’s own yard, and 81% during the summer months.
- 15-20% of US households obtain their water from private wells
- Little regulation of private wells exist, despite the risks of contamination by pollutant chemicals or pathogenic organisms
- With few exceptions, well owners are responsible for their own wells
- Waterborne illnesses include SSYC, norovirus, hepatitis A, E. Coli, rotavirus, giardia, cryptosporidium, cyclospora, isospora, naegleria fowleri
- Potential toxic chemicals include nitrates, lead, arsenic, chromium, perchlorate
- In the case of a new home, the builder should provide the results of coliform, nitrate, inorganic, fluoride, radon, and lead testing.
- In the case of purchase of an existing home with a well, families should arrange for well inspection every spring (esp. for coliforms and nitrates)
Bathtubs & Showers:
- 791,000 bathtub and shower-related injuries (seen in ED) among children <18 years of age from 1990-2007
- 60% laceration
- Slips, trips, and falls account for 81% of injuries
- Face (48%) most common, followed by head/neck (15%)
- Children <4 years of age accounted for 54% of injuries