MONDAY, Aug. 13, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children aged 1 to 4 years, with most drownings happening in home swimming pools, according to a report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

From 2013 to 2105, 58 percent of drownings among children aged 4 and younger occurred in a pool or spa at home. The most effective proven way to prevent drowning is by having fences. The fence should be at least 4 feet high and completely surround the pool; be climb-proof without footholds; have vertical slats separated by no more than 4 inches; and have a self-closing and self-latching gate that only opens out and has the latch at least 54 inches from the ground.

Drowning is silent, and can occur within seconds with little splashing. Swimming pool alarms can detect waves on the water’s surface to attract attention when someone has fallen into the pool. Alarms on the pool fence gate and house door should be considered, with keypads to let adults pass through. Window guards can be useful for windows on the side of the house facing the pool.

Additional precautions include designating a water watcher whose job is to watch all children and adolescents swimming or playing in or near water. Children should be put into properly fitted life jackets when around or near water. Most children aged 4 years and older should have swimming lessons.

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