Pediatricians urge families to add extra layers of protection to keep children safe around all sources of water in the home

The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging parents and other adults to plan multiple layers of protection to keep children and teens safe around water this spring and summer. This is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as children spend more time at home with caregivers who may be distracted by work and other responsibilities.

“Drowning is the single leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4, and it’s one of the top causes of death for teens. As children are at home more due to social isolation recommendations, they may have more access to pools, bathtubs, and other sources of water – all of which pose a drowning risk,”

said pediatrician Ben Hoffman, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence & Poison Prevention.
“Families may also be visiting lakes, rivers or other open bodies of water as a way to get outdoors while still maintaining physical distance to reduce the spread of coronavirus. We have to make sure that we plan layers of protection to keep children and teens safe around water, wherever they are,” Dr. Hoffman said.

In this video package, AAP offers b-roll to illustrate fencing and other pool barriers, life jackets and boating safety, swimming lessons, and close supervision. Dr. Hoffman offers soundbites explaining drowning risks for various ages and demographics, unique considerations during the pandemic, and the steps AAP recommends parents take to keep children safe.