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Drowning prevention

In California, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths among children under the age of five. Enjoying the water can be a wonderful experience, but it's important to prioritize safety at all times to prevent accidental drownings. Learn how you can protect yourself and others in water. 

*Video of first PSA*

Drowning Facts

What is drowning? 

Drowning is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion or immersion in liquid. Drowning is not always fatal. 

Fatal drowning happens when the drowning results in death. 

Nonfatal drowning happens when a person survives a drowning incident. Nonfatal drowning has a range of outcomes, from no injuries to serious injuries such as brain damage or permanent disability. 

  • Drowning occurs within seconds and can happen to anyone, regardless of age

  • Drowning is most common among children ages 1-4 and is the leading cause of death

  • Most drownings among children occur in swimming pools 

  • 40% of drownings require hospitalization and can cause brain damage and other long-term disabilities 

  • Ensure an adult is always supervising children when they are near or in water. This includes beaches, lakes, rivers, streams, pools, and even bathtubs. Even when a lifeguard is present, an adult should still be attentive to children and provide supervision. 

  • Remove toys from pools that might attract children when the pool is not in use. 

  • Children should always wear a fitted life jacket when around natural water. Air-filled toys are not safety devices and should not replace life jackets.

  • Be cautious around all bodies of water, even if they appear calm.  

  • Avoid the use of alcohol and consider the effects of medications when swimming as these can impair your balance, coordination, or judgement and can increase the risk of drowning. 

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General Water Tips

Bath time safety

  1. Always stay within an arm's reach of your child when in or near a bathtub or toilet

  2. Once bath time is over, immediately drain the water

  3. Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed

  4. Keep toilet lids closed and use toilet seat locks

  5. Use baby bath seat that are attached to the side of the bath tub that have locking arms to secure it

Mother and child smiling in bathtub

Vacation Water Safety

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  • Research the destination before you go on vacation. Get information about the local water conditions, such as tides, currents, and any potential hazards. Be aware of any warning signs or flags indicating dangerous areas or unsafe water conditions. 

  • Stick to swimming in designated swimming areas and avoid going into areas that are unfamiliar or unmarked areas.

  • If you’re engaging in water activities such as boating, kayaking, or snorkeling, always use appropriate safety equipment. Wear a life jacket when necessary and ensure your equipment is in good condition.  

  • Avoid swimming against strong currents and be mindful of rip currents, which can pull you away from the shore. 

Kings county resources

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Drowning Prevention Communication Tools 

Kings County Department of Public Health has developed Drowning Prevention social media materials to educate of the importance of water safety. All Kings County partners are encouraged to share utilize the materials develop to continue to educate and reach residents in the County. All the graphics are available in both English and Spanish. 

Dipping Pool
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