OHSU

Swimming

Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death in children.  More drowning deaths occur during summer – particularly in July – than any other time of year. Children can drown in less than one inch of water, so it is extremely important to exercise caution in your home, around the pool or on vacation at a lake or ocean.

Safety Tips

  • Always ensure that there is adult supervision when your child is swimming.
  • Never leave a child alone in or near the water.
  • Never let your child swim alone. Teach them to use the buddy system.
  • Make sure children swim in supervised or designated areas.
  • Never let your child swim during a storm or when there is lightning.
  • Never use water wings and pool toys as life jackets. (See Life Jacket Safety Chart.)
  • Make sure your child knows the depth of the water.
  • Don’t let your child dive or jump into water that is less than 9 feet deep.
  • Don’t let your child chew gum or eat while swimming, diving or playing in the water.
  • Keep a first aid kit, phone and emergency numbers near the water.
  • Learn CPR.
  • Have your child aged four or older complete a swimming program.
  • Enforce all pool rules, including no running, pushing people in or dunking other swimmers.
  • Be sure to remove all toys from the water after everyone is finished swimming, so they don’t tempt small children to enter the water when an adult is not around.
  • At the ocean, be careful of underwater currents and the wave action. Never allow your child to run and dive into the waves head first.
  • Don't allow your child to swim in rivers, where fast-moving water is extremely dangerous and currents are hard to gauge.
  • Don't allow your child to overdo it when swimming..Watch for signs of fatigue.

If you have a pool:

  • Make sure there is a clear view of the pool from your house.
  • Install a fence or wall that is at least five feet high completely arround the pool.
  • Make sure any gate handles are not accessible to young children.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions for the safe installation and use of the pool cover.
  • Keep all electrical appliances away from the pool area.
  • Store sanitation chemicals carefully. Explosions and burn injuries can occur if the chemicals are stored improperly or handled by children.

 

For more information:

503 418-5666
safety@ohsu.edu

Location:

Doernbecher Children's Hospital Lobby
700 SW Campus Drive Portland, OR 97239

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