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Child Drowning Prevention: Focusing on Environment Modification

Introduction Coverstar, one of the top providers of pool covers in Utah, aims to emphasize the importance of environmental modification to prevent incidences of child drowning. Although adult supervision and swimming education are more emphasized, installation of safety equipment is equally important. The company aims to prove that pool fences, covers, and other security systems are foolproof means of saving innocent lives from being cut short. Methodology The facts used to support this analysis are from studies and surveys conducted by the child safety organizations, which include the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSP), Safe Kids, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The aim is to use the information to support this papers claim that environment modification is important in preventing child drowning. Results Adult supervision does not always guarantee the safety of children. A study conducted by the CPSC had shown that 69 percent of accidents occurred under adult supervision. The organization concluded that momentary lapses, not complete lack of supervision, are the common causes of drowning. Safe Kids own study, on the other hand, revealedthat88 percent of drowning cases had some sort of supervision. Among all the cases, only 60 percent attempted rescue. Swimming lessons effectively reduce the risk of drowning, but they are only part of the drowning prevention strategy. NIHs study shows that 48 percent of drowning victims aged 5 to 19 could actually swim 50 feet or more. 58 percent, on the other hand, could swim continuously for at least a minute. A significant percentage of drowning victims even had formal swimming lessons. Conclusions Supervision is not enough to prevent drowning incidences. Apart from the cited reports, hundreds of drowning cases show that children are still at risk of drowning no matter how many people are present. Although parents can supervise swimming activities, moreover, not everyone can offer rescue and administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Despite the effectiveness of swimming lessons, this does not guarantee the safety of children. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions(CDCP) statistics states that a significant amount of drowning victims actually knew how to swim. There are quite a number of victims, however, who only had informal lessons or receive education from unqualified instructors.

Recommendations

Parents, guardians, and pool owners must come up with a comprehensive prevention strategy to ensure the safety of children. This plan should include environment modification to secure the children even while there are no adults around. Environment modification includes the installation of the following safety equipment: Self-latching pool gates These will keep the children from going into the pool unsupervised. The selflocking mechanism doubles its security feature. Electronic pool covers These serves as protective barrier that prevents children from getting in contact with water. Security and alarm systems These will alert adults when the children have entered the pool area. Supervising adults must take note of the equipments proper installation and operation. This will help them maximize functionality and benefits it offers. Despite the effectiveness of the safety equipment, adults must keep in mind that it is not a substitute for actual supervision and does not guarantee safety on their own. What they do is reduce the risk of accidents and help adults should they experience momentary lapse in supervision or fail to provide swimming education for their children.

Sources: http://www.unicef.org.au/Discover/News/May-2012/Drowning-becomes-a-leading-killer-ofchildren.aspx http://www.nola.com/family/index.ssf/2012/07/9-year-olds_drowning_spurs_new.html http://children.webmd.com/features/new-pool-safety-gadgets-help-prevent-drowning?page=2 http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/15/2/75.full#T2 http://articles.cnn.com/2004-05-27/health/drowning_1_child-drowning-deaths-supervision-paoloayala?_s=PM:HEALTH http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/126/1/e253.full http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/pool.pdf