In 2020, 17 Illinois children lost their lives to accidental drowning: nine in pools, four in rivers, two in lakes, one in a pond, and one in a cistern. Eight of the children who drowned in pools were age five and younger. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four and the second leading cause of unintentional death for children ages five to 15 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is important to constantly supervise children when they are in or near water as children can drown silently and in a matter of seconds.
• Never leave a young child alone in a bathtub or rely on a bathtub seat for safety, and never allow kids to play alone in the bathroom.
• Secure the toilet lid. Curious toddlers could tip headfirst into a toilet, risking drowning.
• Empty and store all buckets out of children’s reach when not in use, especially 5-gallon buckets that children can climb into.
Portable or Inflatable pools
• Children require constant supervision, even in shallow baby pools. A child can drown in as little as one inch of water.
• Empty the pool right after use and store it upside-down.
Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs
• Keep ladders, patio furniture and toys away from above-ground pools.
• Install a four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate around all pools and spas. Always check to make sure the gate is locked or closed.
• Keep the pool and deck clear of floats, balls and toys after you leave.
• While young children should wear personal flotation devices, these do not replace adult supervision.
• Keep hot tubs securely covered when not in use. Children should not be left in a hot tub alone.
• Appoint an adult who can swim to watch children at all times when they are in the pool.
• Learn CPR and keep rescue equipment, phone and emergency numbers by the pool. The American Red Cross offers online CPR training classes.
Ponds, Fountains and Retention Ponds
• Be aware of access to water hazards in your yard and neighborhood. If a child goes missing, check these areas first!