With warm weather on the way the Iowa Safe Kids Coalition is asking parents to take some steps to prevent kids from drowning. Lydia Holm, an emergency room doctor at Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, spoke about the issue Tuesday at a pool in the back yard of a West Des Moines home.
Holm says drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death for kids. She says in the toddler group age one to four, it’s the leading cause of death from accidents. Holm says in 2000 there were 14-hundred childhood deaths nationwide from drowning, and in Iowa there were 30 deaths from 2000 to 2004. Holm talked about a case she saw where a 12-year old who was a good swimmer was swimming alone and drowned.
Holm says you should protect your child by only allowing them access to the pool when they’re properly supervised. Holm says you need four-sided fencing around the pool. She says if you use the house as one side of the fence, you need to be sure the child can’t get outside to the pool.
Holm says if you have a pool — and have kids — learn to do C-P-R. Holm says if you get to a kid in time who has drowned, you can do C-P-R and save them. She says you also need safety equipment by the pool like a shepherd’s hook and a life preserver. Holm says having a telephone by the pool is important too. But, Holm says a phone that’s away from the pool can be dangerous. Holm says if the phone isn’t by the pool and it rings, don’t leave your kids and go answer it. She says no phone call is important enough to leave your kids and risk losing them.
Holm says proper supervision is the key whether you have an in-ground pool or a mini pool you blow up. Holm says, “Don’t let your child swim alone. No matter what their age is. No matter if they’re a good swimmer.” Holm says there are a variety of alarms available to signal you if your child tries to leave the house, or gets into the pool without your knowledge.