July & August are Peak Months for Drowning

July & August are Peak Months for Drowning

Jul 01, 2010

With warmer temperatures and a long holiday weekend ahead many people will be spending time at pools and beaches. Water recreation can be enjoyable, but if safety precautions are not followed, it can be very dangerous.

Drowning often occurs swiftly, silently and without notice. According to the Washington Department of Health, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children in Washington. In the Spokane area, more than half of all emergency room visits for accidental drowning and submersion occurred in the months of July and August.

Drowning and water injuries can be prevented. SRHD offers this advice:

  • Designate at least one responsible adult who can swim to watch children when they are in or around water. 
  • Make sure your children learn to swim, and that they improve their swimming skills each year. Be aware that knowing how to swim is not a substitute for adult supervision.
  • Insist that Coast Guard-approved life jackets be worn in or near the water including on docks, boats and inner tubes. Air-filled swimming aids, such as "water-wings", are not considered safety devices and are not substitutes for life jackets.
  • Never leave a child unsupervised in or around a swimming pool or spa, even for a moment. Instruct children not to swim or play around water without adult supervision.
  • Empty all containers such as buckets and wading pools immediately after use and store out of reach. 

Free Designated Child Watcher Tags The Spokane Regional Health District has developed a Designated Child Watcher tag and whistle for use by adults who are supervising children around water. The tag contains rescue steps and rescue breathing guidelines for children and infants 0-8 years. The tags are free. To get one, call 324-1560 ext 4. Child Watchers don't replace certified lifeguards.  

Click here to learn more about Child Watcher tags and drowning prevention