Green Bay – As more children and families head to pools and beaches this time of year, HSHS St. Vincent, St. Mary’s, St. Nicholas and St. Clare Memorial Hospitals remind parents and caregivers to always keep an eye on their kids and actively supervise them when they are in and around water.
While it might seem like children would be at a higher risk for drowning at a crowded community pool, most drownings among children ages 1 to 4 occur in home swimming pools, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among those ages 1 to 14, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes.
Studies show while most parents say they supervise their children while swimming, many acknowledge they engage in other distracting activities at the same time such as scrolling on their smartphone, talking, eating, reading or taking care of another child. A near-drowning incident can also have lifelong consequences. Kids who survive a near-drowning may have brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning. Even after just four to six minutes under water, the damage is usually irreversible.
HSHS St. Vincent, St. Mary’s, St. Nicholas and St. Clare Memorial Hospitals recommend the following:
- Give kids your undivided attention. Actively supervise children in and around water, without any distractions.
- Use the “water watcher” strategy. When there are several adults present and children are swimming, designate an adult as the “water watcher” for a certain amount of time (such as 15-minute periods) to prevent lapses in supervision.
- Teach kids not to swim alone. Whether you’re swimming in a community pool, backyard pool or in a lake, teach children to swim with an adult. Older, more experienced swimmers should still swim with a partner every time. From the first time your kids swim, teach children to never go near or in water without an adult with them.
- Use proper floatation devices. Inflatable toys, rafts, air mattresses and water wings should never be used as lifesaving devices for children.
- Learn CPR. While you may be busy with a million things to do, learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better.
- Be extra careful around pool drains. Teach your children about the dangers of drain entanglement and entrapment and teach them to never play or swim near drains or suction outlets.
- Fence it off. Home pool owners should install four-sided isolation fences, with self-closing and self-latching gates, around backyard swimming pools. This can help keep children away from the area when they aren’t supposed to be swimming.
For additional information about swimming safety, please click here.
HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center are located in Green Bay; HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; and HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls.
About HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center
HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center have been delivering quality health care to Green Bay and its surrounding communities since 1888. With HSHS St. Vincent being the largest tertiary care hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s location on Green Bay’s west side, patients from Northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan benefit from a comprehensive range of services that include cancer care, women’s services, emergency and trauma care, preventive care across the lifespan, digestive health, orthopedic, cardiac care, neurosciences, rehabilitation and pediatrics. Affiliates of Hospital Sisters Health System, the hospitals primary purpose is to continue Christ’s healing love through the delivery of competent and compassionate health care in an environment sensitive to the needs of all people. Both hospitals are accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
About HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital
HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital has been delivering high quality health care to Sheboygan and its surrounding communities since 1890. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital provides a comprehensive range of services that include cancer care, women’s services, 24-hour emergency care, digestive health, orthopedics, cardiac, home health and hospice care. The hospital’s primary purpose is to continue Christ’s healing love through the delivery of high quality and compassionate health care in an environment sensitive to the needs of all people. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. An affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System, we draw on the history of St. Francis of Assisi as we move to continue serving the health care needs of our area in Christ’s healing ministry, caring for all people. To learn more, visit www.stnicholashospital.org.
About HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital
HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital serves Oconto Falls and the surrounding communities as a federally-designated critical access hospital with a 24-hour emergency department, urgent care, general, vascular and orthopedic surgical services, inpatient and outpatient surgical and diagnostic services, rehabilitation, oncology outpatient clinic and women’s care. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, in affiliation with Prevea Health, has six regional health center locations in Gillett, Lena, Mountain, Oconto, Oconto Falls and Suring. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Pharmacies are located in Gillett and Oconto Falls. Founded in 1921 as Community Memorial Hospital, in 2014, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital became the fourteenth hospital in Hospital Sisters Health System. As an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System, we draw on the history of St. Francis of Assisi as we move to continue serving the health care needs of our area in Christ’s healing ministry, caring for all people. For more information about St. Clare, visit www.stclarememorial.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 Local Systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.