Drowning ranks behind only motor-vehicle accidents as the leading cause of death among youngsters in middle childhood.
Most often, these tragedies occur when children swim without adequate adult supervision. In most cases, these children (and their parents) have overestimated their swimming ability and their knowledge of water-survival skills.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) feels strongly that parents should never—even for a moment—leave children alone near open bodies of water, such as lakes or swimming pools, nor near water in homes (bathtubs, spas).
For backyard pools, rigid, motorized pool covers are not a substitute for four-sided fencing, since pool covers are not likely to be used appropriately and consistently. Parents should learn CPR and keep a telephone and emergency equipment (i.e., life preservers) at poolside.
Young children can drown in only a few inches of water, even if they've had swimming instruction. Whenever your child is near water, follow these safety rules from Dr. Cori Cross and The American Academy of Pediatrics.