ITASCA, IL (May 19, 2020) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging parents and other adults to plan multiple layers of protection to keep children and teens safe around water this spring and summer. This is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as children spend more time at home with caregivers who may be distracted by work and other responsibilities.
“Drowning is the single leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4, and it’s one of the top causes of death for teens. As children are at home more due to social isolation recommendations, they may have more access to pools, bathtubs, and other sources of water – all of which pose a drowning risk,” said pediatrician Ben Hoffman, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence & Poison Prevention.
“Families may also be visiting lakes, rivers or other open bodies of water as a way to get outdoors while still maintaining physical distance to reduce the spread of coronavirus. We have to make sure that we plan layers of protection to keep children and teens safe around water, wherever they are,” Dr. Hoffman said.
In this video package, AAP offers b-roll to illustrate fencing and other pool barriers, life jackets and boating safety, swimming lessons, and close supervision. Dr. Hoffman offers soundbites explaining drowning risks for various ages and demographics, unique considerations during the pandemic, and the steps AAP recommends parents take to keep children safe.
All the materials are available at https://digitalmedia.vnr1.com/2020/02/06/aap_drowningpreventation_2020-05-01/
For an interview with Dr. Hoffman or with a pediatrician in your state, contact AAP Media Relations Manager Lisa Black at 630-626-6084, or at email@example.com.
According to the AAP, the layers of protection should include:
“We can’t drown-proof kids, and so planning layers of protection is the best way to protect all children around water,” Dr. Hoffman said.
This year, AAP is continuing its water safety campaign with four new public service announcements describing how to protect toddlers and teens around water. The PSAs are available in both English and Spanish. AAP is also making available a series of PSAs featuring the first-person stories of Bode and Morgan Miller, and Nicole Hughes, who lost children to drowning and have partnered with AAP to share their stories to help save other children.
For more AAP resources on drowning prevention, visit aap.org/drowning. Note, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued guidance on public pools, hot tubs and water parks during COVID-19.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds