Keep Your Children Safe from Drowning: HMC Underscores Importance of Supervision
The Hamad Injury Prevention Program (HIPP) at Hamad Trauma Center under Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) underscores the importance of parental supervision to ensure the safety of children as they play or swim in the water during the summer season.
HIPP Program Coordinator Tsoler Sekayan said that water safety is important for all ages, especially for toddlers. Parents, families and caregivers should know how to protect their kids, avoid risks and respond in an emergency.
Drowning is a leading cause of injury death in children one to four years old. Young children can drown in as little as an inch or two of water, and it can happen quickly and silently.
Worldwide, an estimated 236,000 people die from drowning every year, it is considered the third leading cause of unintentional injury and death worldwide. Children, males and individuals with increased access to water are most at risk of drowning. In Qatar, as many as 50 residents die from drowning every year.
Toddlers are curious, active and eager to explore their surroundings and are attracted to water. They don’t understand that water can be dangerous and they are not old enough to do what is needed when in danger. Males also are more at risk of drowning, with twice the overall mortality rate of females. They are more likely to be hospitalised compared to females for non-fatal drowning. Studies suggest that the higher drowning rates among males are due to their increased exposure to water and riskier behaviour such as swimming alone. So, it’s essential to protect them from water hazards where you live and where you visit.
These recommendations are proven to improve water safety at home for all members of the family, especially those with young children:
- Always give your kids your undivided attention and supervision when they are in or around water. Young children can drown in as little as one inch of water and in complete silence, so it’s very important to keep them within an arm’s reach of an adult.
- Empty tubs, buckets, containers, and kids’ pools immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of children’s reach.
- Close lids and doors. Keep toilet lids and doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed when not in use.
- Instal fences around home or compound pools. A pool fence should surround all sides of the pool and be at least four feet tall with self-closing and self-latching gates.
- When at the beach, assign a responsible adult to watch all members of your group. This ‘watcher’ responsibility must be shared in shifts among adults. This is proven to greatly reduce drowning in children.
- Learn CPR and basic water rescue skills. It is important to know how to respond during an emergency without putting yourself at risk.
- Call 999 for the ambulance service.
Did you know? World Drowning Prevention Day, marked annually every 25 July, serves to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities.
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