Tag Archive for: prevent drowning

Layers of protection that address emergencies

“Layers of protection” is a term used to define and classify the majority of strategies directly affecting aquatic environments in their quest to prevent childhood drowning.

Drowning remains a significant public health concern as it is the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children 1-4 years, the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children 1-14 years, and is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for all ages in the United States (CDC, WISQARS, 2005).

Water-related injuries also affect a significant number of American children. It is estimated that as many as twenty percent of drowning victims suffer severe, permanent neurological disability. Knowing what to do in a water emergency, including how to help someone in trouble in the water safely, can help reduce these numbers.

The following layers of protection are intended to minimize injury should a child gain access to the water and are meant to be used immediately in the event of such an emergency.

Telephone  

Emergency pool phone by ePoolphone

Keep a phone poolside (a land line with the pool’s physical address is best) for emergency use so that an adult can call for help if needed. (Calling from a cell phone won’t automatically tell the 911 operator the location.)

Learn CPR 

Learn CPR and rescue breathing

Anyone who lives in a home with a pool should learn CPR and rescue breathing. Ensure that babysitters have current CPR training and certification.  CPR training and certification should be refreshed every one to two years, depending upon the certification agency, or more frequently if there have been recent changes in recommendations.

In a group, such as a pool party, at least one person should know CPR.  Anyone who is the sole supervisor of a child should learn CPR and rescue breathing.

Water Safety and Rescue Course 

Canadian Red Cross Water Safety Course

Pool owners and operators should enroll in a local water safety course that teaches proper rescue techniques. Course should include hands-on practice using a shepherd’s hook and life-saving ring.

Organizations like the American Red Cross offer water safety and rescue courses and certifications.

Rescue Equipment 

Life ring at swimming pool

Keep a life-saving ring and shepherd’s hook at poolside.

CPR instructions should be posted poolside. 

Know how to use the rescue equipment and perform CPR.

Search  

If a child is missing, always check the pool first.  Seconds count. If a child cannot be located immediately, call 9-1-1 and enlist assistance in the search. 

Read the complete Layers of Protection Position Paper for more information on the steps you can take to prevent drowning.

Sign up for the NDPA Newsletter for more information on water safety awareness events, resources and more ways you can contribute to prevent drowning.

wgat are layers of protection

Drowning has been defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/ immersion in liquid.” The outcome of a drowning incident can be classified as “death,” “morbidity,” and “no morbidity”. The more common terms used in discussions are “fatal” or “nonfatal” drownings.

According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children 1-4 years, the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children 1-14 years, and is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for all ages in the United States. Water-related injuries also affect a significant number of American children. An estimated twenty percent of drowning victims suffer severe, permanent neurological disability.

Drowning is, however, preventable and the NDPA recognizes that multiple strategies are necessary in order to do so. The term “layers of protection” is one used to classify the majority of strategies directly affecting aquatic environments. Parents, caregivers, residential pool owners, aquatic facility owners, managers and operators should use “layers of protection” to provide a system of increased security to prevent unauthorized access to bodies of water, especially important for children. This means that multiple strategies or devices are used constantly and simultaneously.

“Layers of protection” include:

Supervision

Parents, adults and caregivers must actively supervise children at all times when in or near the water and be fully aware of potential dangers in all environments, such as when visiting other homes, while on vacation, or at public/community pools.

Always designate a water watcher to actively supervise children when in or near water.

Unfortunately, many drowning incidents have occurred when people are solely engaged in swimming or other water play, and adults know children are in the water and those adults are nearby.

Active supervision is the first and most important layer of protection needed to prevent drowning accidents. Always assign a water watcher when kids are in the water who will watch them at all times without any distractions.

Physical Layers

Fences are the first physical line of defense that restrict access to the pool.

Physical layers may also be considered as barriers and constitute the first line of physical defense that restrict unauthorized access to the pool or spa area in its entirety or prevent unauthorized access to the water in the pool or spa.

Bear in mind that barriers are not child proof, but they do provide layers of protection for a child when there is a lapse in adult supervision. Barriers give parents additional time to find a child before the unexpected can occur. (USCPSC).

Physical layers that limit access to the pool or spa area:

  • Fences, 
  • Gates 
  • Latches 
  • House doors 
Pool safety cover
Pool safety cover

Physical layers that restrict access to the water include:

  • Pool and spa safety covers (power-operated, semi-automatic or manual)
  • Pool safety nets
  • Winter safety covers

Learn to Swim

Swimming lessons should be considered an additional layer of protection needed to prevent drowning accidents. Surviving in the water becomes increasingly difficult without this life-saving skill. According to the CDC, formal swimming lessons can reduce the chances of drowning by 88 percent.

Image: Northern Beaches Council

When selecting a swimming class for your child, ensure it includes water safety and survival education at the appropriate developmental level.

Other than the layers listed above, there are additional layers needed in case an emergency should occur that include learning CPR, first aid and rescue knowledge.

Alarms

Alarms are an important addition to creating a safer environment. 

D&D Technologies Magnalatch Alert Gate Latch and Electronic Alarm

They can be added to windows, doors, gates and the pool to alert an adult when a barrier has been breached. While the primary goal of layers of protection is to prevent unauthorized access to the water, alarms are important to alert adults if access to the water has been made.  

Alarms can be your last line of defense and allow adults to respond to an emergency quicker.

Active adult supervision and pool barriers are two key layers of protection against child drowning and must always be present, but be aware that not even the most diligent parent or caregiver can actively supervise a child 24/7. Barriers can be breached which is why the NDPA urges using multiple strategies and devices simultaneously to help prevent injuries and deaths from drowning. 

Each additional layer or strategy beyond the first could be the one that saves a life so be sure to use as many as possible at all times.

For more detailed information, read our complete position paper here.

Magnalatch and pool gate

D&D Technologies is the founder and one of the sustaining sponsors of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.

It was thanks to their vision and effort that the NDPA was created in 2004 as a product of their commitment to preventing toddler drowning worldwide while working closely with, and contributing to, water safety organizations globally. Since then, they have been a great ally and supporter of drowning prevention and water safety education efforts across the globe.

D&D Technologies started out in Sydney, Australia, evolving from a small, family-owned fencing company to become a worldwide leader in gate hardware. Owners of the then D&D Aluminium Fencing company had been frustrated by the lack of reliable, durable latches and hinges to complement their custom-made aluminium-and-glass pool fencing systems.

In 1988, one of the company’s founders, David Doyle, saw a science program featuring “rare earth” magnets – highly efficient magnets that never lose their magnetic force. Devising a latching mechanism around this idea, and using rust-free engineering polymers and stainless steel components, the MagnaLatch was born.

MagnaLatch® Magnetic Child Safety Gate Latch

D&D gained international recognition with its ground-breaking MagnaLatch® magnetic child safety gate latch for swimming pool and other child safety gates, winning several prestigious design awards for its revolutionary design. They invented magnetic gate latches (MagnaLatch®) and rust-free polymer gate hinges (TruClose®) to keep your children safe by blocking their unsupervised access to the water. Their strength, reliability and ease of adjustment make them the perfect choice for gates where child safety is important.

D&D Technologies is committed to help educate the public about the importance of having pool gates and fences as a needed layer of protection against drowning accidents. Well aware that drowning is the number 1 cause of accidental deaths for children ages 1 – 4, they continuously share information in the interest of consumer and public safety to help reduce this statistic.

Go over this checklist courtesy of D&D and make sure your pool gates are contributing to keep your child safe and they comply with U.S. safety standards such as the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act

D&D Technologies is a Platinum Sponsor for the 2020 National Water Safety Conference to be held in Fort Worth, TX from April 5 -9, 2020. Register for the conference here: bit.ly/NDPA2020.

You can also become an NDPA sponsor and contribute to our efforts to prevent drowning! Click here for more information.


Blog cover swimmer in swimming pool

Water Safety is defined as the procedures, precautions and policies associated with safety in, on and around bodies of water, where there is a risk of injury or drowning. It has applications in several occupations, sports and recreational activities, and above all at home and in real life.

Constant supervision is needed to avoid drowning incidents.

Since drowning is the number one cause of injury-related death among children between the ages of 1 and 5 and the second leading cause of death for children ages 1-14, water safety should be a priority for parents, teachers and caregivers. 

Drowning incidents don’t happen as portrayed on film and TV. They can be difficult to detect as drowning is an extremely silent event. Contrary to popular perception, there is little or no splashing to be seen, no sound involved. Children can drown in front of other children, adults and even lifeguards before anyone realizes what has happened.

It only takes a moment. A child or weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to reply to a text message, check a fishing line or take a picture. Death and injury from drownings happen every day in domestic environments such as home pools, hot tubs, bathtubs even buckets and in open water like the beach or in oceans, lakes, rivers and streams.

Here are 5 water safety facts to keep in mind:

10 fatal drownings per day

In the U.S. drowning takes an average of 3,500 – 4,000 lives per year. That is an average of 10 fatal drownings per day. According to the CDC, from 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States, which ia about ten deaths per day. An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents. About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.

Drowning is among the top 5 causes of unintentional injury

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury related death for children ages 1-4. Drowning remains in the top 5 causes of unintentional injury related death from birth to 54 years old.

23% of child drownings happen during a family gathering near a pool

CDC data show that in children most drownings occur in residential swimming pools while in adults, most drownings occur in natural waters. Most child drownings occur when children get into the pool on their  own. The CDC found that most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes, and the majority of these drownings took place in the midst of a family reunion or gathering.

Learning to swim can reduce the risk of drowning by 88%

Learning to swim can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% for 1-4 year olds who take formal swim lessons. Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning up to 88%.  In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics modified their recommendations about swim lessons, citing studies that show most children over the age of one may be at lower risk of drowning if they have some formal swimming instruction.

Drowning is fast and silent. 

Drowning can happen in as little as 20-60 seconds, the time it takes to apply some sunscreen or post a tweet on social media. Movies depict drowning as flailing and screaming for help but in reality this is not the case. Drowning is quick, silent and deadly and unless you’re a trained professional you may miss the signs of drowning all together. Drowning victims seldom have the time, energy or air to call for help. There aren’t any flailing arms or big splashing to catch onlookers’ attention. 

Learn more drowning quick facts

Education is key to prevent unintentional drownings. The NDPA relies on donations from our members, friends, and supporters to continue our work. With your support we can continue to bring people, groups, and leaders together to prevent drownings. Remember our mission – “Together WE can PREVENT the tragedy of drowning!”

Donate today!


Blog Cover

As an educational resource for the United States and beyond, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance strives to place emphasis on research, awareness, and policy changes to impact the incidence of toddler drownings in swimming pools, bathtubs, spas and jacuzzis. The result has been an unprecedented growth and presence in national and local drowning prevention efforts.

The NDPA was willed into existence in November 2004 thanks to the vision and  effort of D&D Technologies to establish a national organization devoted to drowning prevention. Previous efforts included organizing the first National Drowning Prevention Symposium in 2002 which took place in Las Vegas, NV. This was the first event of its kind bringing together a plurality of aquatic safety organizations and advocates to discuss challenges and opportunities in the advancement of drowning prevention.

Former NDPA board members
Former NDPA Board Members (from left): Kim Tyson, Tomas LeClerc, Mary Ann Downing, and Bob Ogoreuc.

A couple of years after the Las Vegas event, the NDPA was officially established as a 501(c)(3) organization for public benefit.

Our main goal at the NDPA is to bring together everyone who has a vested interest in drowning prevention and water safety. Through our vast network of partners, members, advocates, and supporters, we are able to provide education and resources to prevent drowning and aquatic injury by making water safe to enjoy.

Looking to further our goal of reducing the number of unintentional drownings registered in the country and worldwide in innovative yet effective ways, we are adding a new channel to share our educational efforts as well as those of our partners and advocates: our very own blog!.

We hope to leverage this new channel to connect with all our supporters in such a way that proves beneficial to the general public through the sharing of educational and informative resources, insights and current studies made readily available for any- and every-body. 

As a relentless force to be reckoned with, the NDPA will continue to pursue its number one goal to put an end to child drownings being the leading cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4.

Drowning IS preventable!

Find ways to get involved in water safety education in your community here.