Decisions for safety and security walk the thin line between rationality and paranoia. After all, with a healthy enough imagination, we could start locking our closets at night so the monsters won’t get out. When it comes to our infants’ safety in water, are we being rational or paranoid? Is getting an infant life jacket the product of an exaggerated imagination or is there a real and present danger to our babies near water? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.
Local and Global Statistics On Drowning
The minimum depth of water that a child or infant can drown in is 2 inches. Unfortunately, this covers a great number of bodies of water, from deep puddles to the ocean itself. This is probably why 2 children under 14 die from drowning every day. 20% of those who die in drowning are below 14. Children younger than 4 years old are particularly at risk of drowning, with 1 in 3 accidental deaths caused by drowning.
This is not only true locally. Globally, according to the World Health Organization, drowning claims a third of accidental youth and children deaths. Drowning can occur anywhere, in swimming pools, in the sea, in lakes and rivers. Globally as well, children under 5 years of age are most likely to die of drowning, more than any other age. Children without the skills or control to keep their head up, or flip over and float,
Infants Drowning Prevention And Response
Drowning is a very real, present, and terrible danger. Most heartbreakingly, it is very preventable. Allowing children to have formal swimming lessons the moment they turn 1 already reduces the risk of the child dying by drowning. Having a 4-foot 4-wall enclosure around the family swimming pool already decreases the baby’s drowning risk by 83%.
The scarier causes are related to possible absent-mindedness or negligence. The most number of drowning deaths under the age of 4 happen in swimming pools. Without currents, high waves, or sharks, it should be the safest place for children to swim in. Instead, because some guardians believe that safety removes the requirement for direct supervision, swimming pools become the worst enemy.
One of the quickest ways to make sure a child does not succumb to drowning is through training of the entire household in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, otherwise known as CPR. Drowning is when a person’s airways (mouth to lungs) can no longer function, because of the liquid’s pressure on them. CPR, especially the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, can flush the airways clear.
However, the best preventive response is both practical and preemptive: an infant life jacket. Simply wearing the life jacket during boating would cut the deaths by half, a study suggests. If the risk of a child or infant dying due to drowning is that high, the question is, how do I make sure it does not happen to me? While the life jacket only minimizes risk and still requires direct supervision, the unthinkable will have a less chance of happening whenever the baby falls into the water.
Nothing Replaces Direct Supervision
While safety devices and monitors get more and more sophisticated, nothing will ever be as effective as our own eyes, ears, and hands when it comes to keeping our babies safe. The infant life jackets are only the last resort, when the baby is thrown into the water after a boating collision, or if he or she happens to fall into the river when you do. No safety device will ever beat out our instincts for their safety.