Tuesday, March 16, 2010

National Drowning Prevention Alliance

Typically in the US, over 800 children under age 14 drown each year. Nearly three times as many are treated for submersion injuries with about 20 percent suffering severe, permanent brain damage. The National Drowning Prevention Alliance urges swimming pool and spa owners to protect young children by installing an isolation fence completely around the pool that is at least four feet high and has a self-closing, self-latching gate that opens outward. A power safety cover is another effective barrier if closed every time an adult is not watching the pool or spa. An additional layer of protection is to install alarms on all house doors to alert parents when children try to exit the house unsupervised.

Whenever children are playing in or around water, parents and caregivers are urged to provide constant eye-contact supervision and to know proper rescue procedures, including CPR. Teaching children to swim is an additional layer of protection; swim lessons or flotation devices do not take the place of constant supervision.

The mission of the NDPA is to be a catalyst in drowning prevention by educating parents and professionals on effective drowning prevention measures. The NDPA’s current focus is to support research, awareness, and policy changes to reduce the incidence of toddler drowning in swimming pools.

For more information about the National Drowning Prevention Alliance visit www.NDPA.org

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