Officials Stress Importance Of Water Safety For Kids

Jun 29, 2015

Credit Arkansas Children's Hospital

Arkansas has the 7th highest drowning rate in the nation according to findings released by the Arkansas Infant and Child Death Review program, which is made up by representatives from legal, law enforcement and health agencies.

With the abundance of open water in the state and sometimes a lack of supervision, parents need to be certain they are aware of their children’s location and basic water safety skills, says Dr. Pamela Tabor, the director of the ICDR.

Even water levels that seem low, they can still pose a risk to children.

The most common threats to younger children are wading pools, bath tubs and buckets. For older children, most deaths occur on open bodies of water.

"Make sure they have vests on, especially in water crafting activities from canoeing to jet skiing to sitting on the boat," Dr. Tabor said.

If someone is drowning, she says those responding need to be extremely cautious.  

"What they should never do is walk into that water themselves. They should reach in," Dr. Tabor said. "It is amazing how incredibly strong someone will be when they fight for their life and that is the first rule you learn as a life guard: put something between you and the drowning person if at all possible."

As water activities are popular during the summer, Tabor reminds parents of the importance of constantly supervising children and knowing basic safety tips, which can be found here.