Jessamine County Coroner

Drowning Prevention

We all know how easy it is for a child to become a victim of carelessness.  We are diligent about making sure kids’ seat belts are fastened, or that they are in a properly fastened and positioned child car-seat.  We also don’t allow unlocked or loaded guns to be anywhere within reach of our children.  We lock up dangerous chemicals and medications; and we teach them to look and listen before crossing a road.  How are we though, when it comes to protecting them from drowning? Results of a recent study reveal:

  • A child drowns every five days in a portable “kiddie” pool during the summer months.
  • 209 children below the age of 12 years old died in portable pools from 2001 to 2009.
  • 94% of accidents involved children younger than 5 years old.
  • 81% of the events took place in the summer.
  • Boys accounted for 56% of the accidents.
  • Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death for children aged 1-14 years old in the U.S.
  • Of all preschoolers who drown, 70% are in the care of one or both parents.
  • Of all preschoolers who drown, 75% are missing from sight for five minutes or less.
  • 2/3 of all drowning occur between May and August.
  • Of all drownings, 40% occur on weekends.


Some recent statistics on drowning in Kentucky reveal:

  • 36 Child fatalities were reported since July 1, 1999.
  • 15 - swimming pool.
  • 9 - open water area.
  • 8 - bathtub.
  • 4 - well, septic lagoon, toilet.
  • 25 were substantiated for neglect by either parents or another caregiver.
  • 18 involved children 0-5 years of age.
  • 4 involved children 5-10 years of age.
  • 3 involved children 10-18 years of age.

Where and How Drowning Accidents Happen:

  • A temporary lapse in supervision is a common factor.
  • Often there is no splashing to warn of trouble.
  • Bathtubs, buckets, ice chests with melted ice, toilets, hot tubs and spas, wells, fish ponds, fountains, and post holes are a few examples of where a child can drown.
  • Children can and have drowned in less than 2 inches of water.

What You Can Do to Help Safeguard Your Child:

  • Never leave a young child alone in the bathroom unattended.
  • Keep the bathroom door closed and latched.
  • Never leave a child alone in a bathtub or in the care of another child, even for a moment.
  • Use lockable cover on spas and hot tubs.
  • Supervise children closely when they are playing near wells, open post holes or irrigation ditches.
  • Properly fence in your pool (at least 4 ft high) and keep it locked when an adult is not supervising it.
  • Never allow a child in a boat of any kind without a properly fitting life vest.
  • Remove all toys from pool after use to deter temptation to reach for them.
  • Learn CPR and know how to get emergency help.

Remember, Teaching your child how to swim DOES NOT mean your child is safe in water.

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