As Temperatures Rise Sunrise Children’s Hospital, Safe Kids Clark County Provide Water Safety Tips for a Safe Holiday Weekend

Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between ages one and four. With warm temperatures expected over the weekend, Sunrise Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Clark County provide water safety tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe this Memorial Day weekend.

On average more than 1,000 children drown each year and more than 5,000 are seen in emergency rooms for injuries from near-drowning incidents.

“Drowning is something that can easily happen on anyone’s watch,” said Jeanne Marsala, Injury Prevention Coordinator, Sunrise Children’s Hospital and Director, Safe Kids Clark County. “We need to keep educating and reminding the community about the extra precautions we can all take to keep kids safe around water – especially when we haven’t been around pools or other large bodies of water for months due to colder weather and absence of access to pools due to the pandemic.”

Studies show that although 90 percent of parents say they supervise their children while swimming, many acknowledge that they engage in other distracting activities at the same time like talking, eating, reading or taking care of another child. Even a near-drowning incident can have lifelong consequences. Kids who survive a near-drowning may have brain damage, and after four to six minutes under water the damage is usually irreversible.

Sunrise Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Clark County recommend the following five tips to help keep kids safe in and around water:

  1. Give kids your undivided attention. Actively supervise children in and around water, without distraction.
  2. Use the Water Watcher strategy. When there are several adults present and children are swimming, designate an adult as the Water Watcher for a certain amount of time (such as 15-minute periods) to prevent lapses in supervision and give parents a chance to read, make phone calls or take a bathroom break when they are not the designated Water Watcher.
  3. Teach kids not to swim alone. Whether you are swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake, teach children to only swim with an adult. Older, more experienced swimmers should still swim with a partner every time. From the first time your kids swim, teach children to never go near or in water without an adult present.
  4. Wear life jackets. Always have your children wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water, when participating in water sports or in the pool. Make sure the life jacket fits snugly. Have the child make a “touchdown” signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits the child’s chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.
  5. Learn CPR. We know you have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be at the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better.
  6. Be extra careful around pool drains. Teach children to never play or swim near drains or suction outlets, which can cause situations where kids can get stuck underwater.

To learn more water safety tips, visit: http://www.safekids.org/poolsafety 

About Sunrise Children’s Hospital
Sunrise Children’s Hospital is the largest, most comprehensive children’s hospital in Nevada that also serves the surrounding region and millions of visitors that come to Las Vegas.  Sunrise Children’s Hospital offers a full range of specialized services, including Nevada’s only pediatric heart surgery program and Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU), a dedicated Pediatric Emergency Department and the largest Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in the Nevada. Sunrise Children’s Hospital is located on the same campus as Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center – Nevada’s largest acute care facility. Follow us on Instagram @SunriseChildrensHospitalLV, Twitter @SunriseHosp and Facebook.com/SunriseChildrensHospital.

About Safe Kids Clark County

Safe Kids County works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States.  Safe Kids Clark County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Clark County was founded in 1993 and is led by Sunrise Hospital and Sunrise Children’s Hospital. For more information, visit safekids.org or www.safekidsclarkcounty.org.