Report shows steady increase in child drownings

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – With many public beaches and pools closed, families are bringing the summer fun to their back yard.

Child drownings are the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages one to four years old.

A report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows a steady increase in fatal child drownings since 2015.

According to the report, between 2015 and 2017, 71% of drownings occurred in a residential setting, while children were playing in home-pools.

The increase is attributed to a lack of adult supervision.

The report shows that during that same time period, children younger than five years old accounted for 75% of child drownings, 56% of them happened when an adult was not present.

One health expert says it’s important to always stay alert, because you may not hear a call for help.

“A common misconception about drowning is that a child, when they’re drowning, will be waving their arms or yelling for help. That’s not usually the case, drowning is silent,” said Megan Anderson, Injury Prevention Coordination at Gundersen Health System.

Anderson says kids can go under very quickly and can drown in very little water.

If you have an in-ground pool, she recommends having a four-sided fence with a locked gate around it.

For things like kiddie-pools, make sure you empty them out when your kids are done playing in it.

It’s also a good idea to learn CPR so you’re prepared in an emergency.