INDIANA (www.incnow.tv) - A new state report says that the children who drowned in Indiana's lakes and pools largely had a lack of adult supervision.
The Indiana Department of Child Services and the Department of Natural Resources issued the report Tuesday on the 11 youth drowning deaths in 2011, the last year for which complete statistics are available.
“In nearly all of those cases, there was some lack of supervision,” said Mary Beth Bonaventura, director of the Indiana Department of Child Services. “Children generally don’t have an awareness of the risks around water. It’s up to the adults who care for them to help keep them safe.”
DNR reports 27 open water drownings so far in 2013, with three of the victims being 18 years old and younger.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites accidental drowning as the second-largest cause of death among children ages 14 and younger.
Officials released the following guidelines aimed at keeping children safe this summer.
- Never leave children alone when near or accessible to water, and teach children to ask permission before going near a body of water.
- Never leave a child’s safety around water in the hands of another child. Water safety requires vigilant, adult supervision.
- Ensure the entire family has been properly taught to swim well via a certified water-safety program. Many city parks departments offer these programs.
- Swim in areas with designated lifeguards on duty.
- Always swim with a buddy.
- Have children wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life-jacket—particularly for children with poor swimming skills—and have a life-preserver on hand. DNR strongly recommends that all family members wear a life-jacket while boating on Indiana lakes and waterways.
- Teach children never to dive into oceans, lakes or rivers because they do not know what dangerous structures can lurk under the water’s surface.
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