Drowning Prevention in Children

Playing in the water is fun for children of all ages — and with Florida’s year-round warm weather, it is a favorite activity in the sunshine state. At Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, we want children to be safe when enjoying Florida’s many water activities.

Why drowning prevention for children is so important:

Prevention Tips

Thankfully, many drowning accidents can be prevented, and parents and caregivers can play a key role in protecting children. By taking safety precautions such as those listed below, whether you’re at home or out to play, you can help to keep your child safe around water.

Home Pools

The Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act (Chapter 515, Florida Statutes) requires one of the following pool safety measures be in place for pools built after October 1, 2000:

The Florida Department of Health recommends using a combination of barriers to help ensure your pool is equipped with approved safety features.

Natural Bodies of Water



Layers of Protection

It’s important to have multiple layers of protection in place to prevent an accidental drowning.

Layer 1: Supervision

Supervision, the first and most crucial layer of protection. It means someone is always actively watching when a child is in the pool, tub or natural body of water. For young children, the supervisor should be within range of touch at all times.

Layer 2: Barriers

A child should never be able to enter the pool area unaccompanied by a guardian. Barriers physically block a child from getting in the water. Barriers may include child-proof locks on all doors leading to the pool, a pool fence with self-latching and self-closing gates, and door and pool alarms. Professional pool covers fitted to your pool may also be used. A simple canvas covering can be a drowning hazard and entrap a child in the water.

Layer 3: Emergency Preparedness

From the moment a child stops breathing there is a small, precious window of time in which resuscitation may occur. But only if you know what to do. Administering CPR can mean the difference between life and death. In an emergency, it is critical to have a phone nearby and immediately call 911.

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