How to prevent drownings, and what to do if they happen How to prevent drownings, and what to do if they happen

How to prevent drownings, and what to do if they happen

Prevention 23 July, 2018 Maria Clara Restrepo E.


Water safety is important at any age, but especially for babies or small children as a drowning can occur very quickly.

Bathtubs, pools, inflatable pools, jacuzzies and even bins and buckets filled with water can be drowning hazards. To reduce the chance of drowning, the KidsHealth website recommends the following:

In the bathtub:

  •  Never leave a baby unattended in the bathtub without supervision.
  •  Never leave out a bathtub, bin or other recipient full of water or other liquid.
  •  Avoid using a baby chair in the bathtub; this can turn over or the baby can fall off of it.
  •  Install a toilet lock on the lid of the toilet and keep bathroom doors closed.

At the pool:

  • If you have a pool in your backyard, install a wall all around it that is at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) high as well as a self-closing or spring door that locks with a latch and is out of children’s reach.
  •  Remove any toys from the pool when children have stopped swimming in order to prevent children from trying to get them.
  •   Empty all the water from an inflatable pool once you are done using it.

Some of the precautions you can take to avoid a drowning include not swimming under the effects of alcohol or sedatives, using life jackets, and learning how to perform CPR.

What to do if you have to perform CPR

Take your child out of the water immediately and check to see if they are breathing on their own. If not, give them rescue breaths and perform CPR until they can breathe on their own.

(Learn about performing CPR on children here – article in Spanish). During this process, the child is likely to vomit water. Only once their breathing is normal, stop and seek emergency help. When the medics arrive, they will administer oxygen and continue with specialized treatment.  

Related article: Benefits to the brain from swimming