PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — As summer draws near and pools open up, government and healthcare institutions issued warnings for water safety.
The Illinois Department of Child and Safety Services (DCFS) released a public service announcement on May 24. According to the announcement, Illinois had 17 accidental child drownings.
Illinois DCFS recommends adults get CPR training, which can be done online with the American Red Cross.
At Peoria’s Pediatric Resource Center, Dr. Channing Petrak said any child is at risk, not just babies and toddlers. The DCFS announcement reported nine of the 17 accidental drownings were children older than five.
Accidental drowning is still cited as the leading cause of death in children one to four. Dr. Petrak said for events like bath time, any child four or younger must be supervised at all times. This includes not turning away from the bath for any reason.
“So I think people get complacent, you know?” said Dr. Petrak. “‘Oh, it’s the kiddie pool, and they’re just having fun. I’m going to run into the house and get something.’ But it truly takes a very short amount of time and not much water for the child to get into trouble with it.”
Outside of the house, there are more opportunities for danger, especially when it comes to pools, hot tubs, lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water. Dr. Petrak said to maintain barriers to the water and constant supervision.
If a child does go near the water, Dr. Petrak said life jackets and swim lessons are always a good idea.