The recent incidents, where 4 Indians living in the United States lost their lives by accidental drowning in separate unconnected events shows us yet again, how still water run deep. Nagaraju Surepalli and his 4-year-old son Ananth Surepalli were found unresponsive in their community swimming pool in Novi, Michigan on May 30th. Investigations into the incident revealed that the child was playing by the poolside on his tricycle when he accidently slipped and fell into the 5 feet deep pool. The father jumped to save the child, but not knowing how to swim he drowned too.

In another unrelated incident, another Indian student lost his life while boating at a local park in California. All the deceased in these tragedies, did not know how to swim. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), ten people die from unintentional drowning every day, ranking drowning fifth among leading causes of unintentional injury deaths in the U.S. Among those gory statistics, one in five victims are children. Accidental drowning is the leading cause of death for children aged 1-4. An even more disturbing fact is reports of fatal submersion involving younger children often occur when adults are present. Considering this, below are some do’s and don’ts to be followed strictly near swimming pools and other waterbodies.

Don’ts

  • NEVER leave a child unsupervised near a pool, spa, bathtub, toilet, water-filled bucket, pond or any standing body of water for even a second.
  • DO NOT use flotation devices, i.e. air-filled or foam toys, noodles or inner tubes in place of life jackets/pfds (personal flotation devices).  Many flotation devices are considered as toys and not designed to keep swimmers safe.
  • DO NOT allow children to play in and around the pool or spa area.  Remove all toys, balls and floats from around or in a pool.
  • DO NOT dive into above-ground pools, shallow water or water where you don’t know the depth.  Diving into shallow water can cause spinal injuries.

Do’s

  • ALWAYS swim and/or boat with a buddy and select areas with lifeguards.
  • Check the local weather conditions prior to engaging in recreational water activities.
  • ALWAYS designate a responsible adult to be the “Water Watcher” of young children while in and around water. The designated adult should not be involved in other distracting activities, i.e., answering the phone, playing games, etc.
  • Avoid swimming after dark and in muddy waters of lakes, ponds and rivers.
  • Learn to swim
  • Learn CPR!  It saves lives.

Article submitted by our reader: Bhavana P