Drowning – It’s Quick, It’s Silent and It’s Preventable

Health & Wellness |



Approximately every 9 hours a child in the United States drown, or almost 900 children between 0-19 drown each year.

Leading causes of unintentional injury death in Indiana:

  • #1 reason for children ages 1-4
  • #2 reason for children ages 5-14
  • #3 reason for children ages 15-19

If a toddler or child goes missing, look in the water FIRST!

How to be safe around pools:


  • At least 4 feet high and surround the pool on all 4 sides (separate from the house and play area).
  • Self-closing and self-latching gate, with the latch out of child’s reach, at least 54 inches from the ground.
  • Non-climbable. Chain-link fences are not recommended, but if they are used the opening should be 1 ¾ inch or smaller.
  • Slats should have no more than 4 inches of space between them.
  • When a pool is not in use
    • Keep the gate locked
    • Remove toys so children are not tempted to enter the pool area unsupervised
    • Use alarms on the pool, the pool fencing, and house doors.

Learn more about safety barriers around pools from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Pick an Adult “Water Watcher” for Supervision When In AND Around Water

  • Water watcher should
    • Be close, watch constantly and without distractions,
    • Put the cell phone down
    • Avoid other activities
    • Avoid using alcohol or drugs
    • Wear a tag to identify who is the “water watcher”
    • Switch off with another adult for breaks and be sure to hand them the tag to identify the “water watcher”
  • All children should be supervised even when
    • There is a lifeguard on duty
    • Wearing a floatation device
    • Know how to swim

Learn Life-Saving Skills

A Life Jacket or Flotation Device in AND Around Water

To find local pool schedules and splash pads for the Indianapolis area, please visit parks.indy.gov.