Concerned parents are putting pool safety into scrutiny after Jinger Duggar recently came under fire online over a photo her husband posted of their daughter in the pool wearing floatation devices. The Duggars are one famous family that certainly take their fair share of parent shaming online. From how they choose to dress their kids to how they feed them to even how they play with them, nothing seems to be off-limits. While some of the criticism seems to be the work of online trolls who have nothing better to do than spend their day making nasty comments on Instagram, sometimes the concern is justified.
Jinger's husband recently posted a picture of their adorable daughter in a pool wearing a flotation device called a puddle jumper. While eagle-eyed fans can see that there is someone in the pool holding onto the tot, others were quick to take to the comments section to warn about the flotation device and that parents should be within arms reach of children wearing them at all times. Here’s what parents should know about the hidden risks of pool floaties and how to keep your child safe.
The picture definitely sparked a conversation about pool safety, especially when it comes to young children. Most of the commenters weren't trying to be disrespectful of Jinger or Jeremy with their comments. They simply wanted to ensure that these first-time parents were aware of how dangerous water can be for children.
Drowning Facts Parents Need To Know
According to the CDC, ten people die from unintentional drowning every single day, and one in five of those people are under the age of fourteen, making it the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 14. For every child that dies, another five are seen in emergency rooms for submersion related injuries. Parents need to understand the reality of how quickly a fun day in the water can turn tragic if they're not paying attention to their children at all time.
The Red Cross states that children who are younger than 1-year-old are more likely to drown at home than anywhere else, reinforcing the need for pool and water safety. A whopping 87% of children under the age of 5 drown in home pools or hot tubs, typically owned by family or friends, while children between the age of 7 and 17 years old are more likely to drown in natural water.
What Is Dry Drowning?
Although most parents are aware of submersion drowning, most don't know that dry and secondary drowning are also real dangers. Dry drowning and secondary drowning are not as common as submersion drowning, but parents should still know the signs. With dry drowning, WebMD explains that the child breathes in the water but instead of the water reaching the lungs it causes the vocal cords to spasm and close up. This will then cause your child's airways to close, making breathing difficult. The effects of dry drowning will be noticeable almost immediately.
In cases of secondary drowning, effects can show as long as 24 hours after water exposure. It happens when water enters the lungs, causing irritation and eventually a condition called pulmonary edema. If your child has trouble breathing after water exposure and this trouble worsens over the course of 24 hours it could be secondary drowning.
The Dangers Of Puddle Jumpers And Flotation Devices
Many parents use flotation devices like the puddle jumpers that the Vuolo's had on Felicity, as well as other flotation devices like water wings and inflatable objects, but these aren't always trustworthy. The National Safety Council notes that water wings should never be used as a flotation device as they can slip off, deflate and even give your child a false sense of security. They also do not position the child's face properly and safely above water.
Puddle jumpers are made from the same buoyant material as a life jacket and they do keep your child positioned properly in the water, but they also should only be used in the presence of an adult who is in arms reach at all times, and only in calm waters. As PPCD writes, puddle jumpers may also give children a false sense of security in water, with some children feeling more confident in the water than they should be if they don't have it on.
Steps To Prevent Child Drowning
While accidents will always happen, there are steps parents can take to help prevent child drowning. The CDC suggests that everyone knows how to swim and the basics of CPR if they are going to be swimming or near open water. They also suggest keeping pools fenced with a self-latching gate to keep curious kids away from the pool area when they aren't supervised.
Always wear a life jacket:
Children who can't swim and those who aren't strong swimmers should always wear lifejackets around pools or open water, no exceptions, and parents should be watching children at all times, with no distractions. While it may seem relaxing to sit with a book or scroll through your phone while your kids are swimming, it only takes a split second for tragedy to occur.
Use smart tech like pool alarms and covers:
Pool alarms can also be helpful in alerting an adult if someone does fall in the pool by accident, and parents should ensure that pool covers are fitted properly so children can't slip underneath.
Enroll kids into swim lessons early:
The American Academy of Pediatrics also suggests enrolling children in water safety classes at the age of 1 and formal swimming lessons by the time they are 4 years old to ensure all children grow into confident swimmers.
While reality stars are often criticized for the smallest things, Jinger and Jeremy's picture of their daughter a much-needed conversation on water safety between their fans and followers.
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