Childhood drownings and near-drownings can happen in a matter of seconds. They typically occur when a child is left unattended or during a brief lapse of supervision. In 1999, 800 children ages 14 and under drowned. For every child that drowns, an additional four are hospitalized for near-drownings. Fifteen-percent of children admitted for near-drownings die in the hospital
Children should always swim with a grown-up. Every child over the age of three should have swimming lessons. It is important for children to learn and practice water safety rules. Here are some helpful water safety rules for children:
Swim only if a lifeguard or a grown-up gives you permission.
Follow the posted rules.
Check with the lifeguard to find out how deep the water is.
Always swim with a buddy.
Never jump or dive unless the lifeguard or a grown-up says it is okay to do so.
Don't eat candy or chew gum when swimming.
Never swim at night.
Get out of the water right away if you hear thunder or see lightning.
When on a boat, everyone needs a seat and his or her own PFD (personal flotation device). Air-filled swimming aids such as inner tubes, water wings, and inflatable rafts are not substitutes for approved PFDs. Children using air-filled swimming aids should always be supervised by an adult within arms reach.