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18 children died from drowning accidents in 2021

Illinois DCFS reminds parents to stay vigilant of kids around water.
Image courtesy of MGN.
Image courtesy of MGN.(MGN)
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 11:15 AM CDT
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ILLINOIS (WIFR) - Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 to 4 and the second leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 to 14. For every child who dies from drowning, another eight receive emergency department care for non-fatal drowning.

“A child can drown in seconds, in silence and in as little as one inch of water,” said Director Marc D. Smith of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

In 2021, 18 Illinois children lost their lives to accidental drowning: eight in pools; three in bathtubs; two in lakes; two in ponds; and one each in a creek, a river and a hot tub. All eight of the children who drowned in pools were age 5 years or younger.

“We can prevent the tragedy of childhood drowning by actively watching our children any time they are in or around water and practicing ‘reach supervision’ so an adult is always just an arm’s reach away from children in water,” says Smith.

As summer swimming activities begin, the department shares these safety tips:

  • Never leave children alone in bathtubs, near portable or inflatable pools, swimming pools or hot tubs.
  • Shallow water provides a false sense of security for parents and caretakers. Children can drown in as little as one inch of water.
  • Flotation devices do not replace adult supervision.
  • Be aware of all ponds, fountains and retention ponds in your neighborhood. If a child goes missing, check these places first.

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