Swimming is a favorite summer activity for many. It is also a great way to exercise year-round. With so many different ways to enjoy the water, from swimming pools to getting out on the lake, it is important to know the basics of swim safety and how to prevent events like accidental drownings.

According to the CDC, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children under the age of 14. Between 2005 and 2014, there were an average of more than 3,500 unintentional drowning deaths each year in the United States. These do not include accidental deaths related to boating (an additional 332 people per year).

More than 50% of victims that show up in the emergency room for drowning-related injuries have to be admitted to the hospital for further care.

Being educated on ways to prevent drowning, as well as the statistics associated with accidental drowning deaths can help prevent these tragedies from happening.

Boys are more at-risk for deadly drowning accidents and make up nearly 80 percent of all drowning deaths. Children between the ages of 1 and 4 are at the greatest risk of drowning in home swimming pools.

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Prevention

There are several things you can do as a parent or guardian to ensure the safety of your child around bodies of water. Here’s a list of some of the most important ways to prevent accidental drowning deaths:

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Symptoms to Watch

Would you recognize the symptoms of a near drowning? Here’s what to watch for:

It’s important to note that even if someone has been under the water and has lost consciousness, they can still be revived. Performing hands-only CPR can potentially save a life. If they’re unresponsive, keep doing CPR.

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Dry Drowning and Secondary Drowning

One of the scariest types of unintentional drownings comes after a close-call in the water. Some people develop a delayed reaction to drowning, called “dry drowning.” Here’s what you’ll want to look out for:

If your child has had a close call or a water incident, make sure to monitor them closely for the next 24 hours and keep an eye out for any of the above symptoms. If you see any of these signs, call 911 or take your child to the nearest emergency room. They don’t need to have water inside of their lungs to have symptoms of drowning.