Drownings: AAP policy statement offers guidance on prevention

  • Denny SA & al.
  • Pediatrics
  • 15 Mar 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued an updated policy statement on drowning prevention, emphasizing high-risk populations and effective messaging.

Why this matters

  • In 2017, almost 1000 people younger than 20 years died by drowning in the United States; drowning is among the top causes of injury-related pediatric death.

Key recommendations

  • Adolescents have the second highest death-by-drowning rates, largely in natural water, with overestimation of skill, underestimation of danger, substance use, and impulse control issues contributing.
  • Special populations at increased risk include those with epilepsy, autism, and cardiac arrhythmias.
  • Some demographic factors, including race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status, have a role in access to swimming instruction.
  • The policy statement addresses what clinicians can do:
    • Know the leading causes of drowning to tailor messaging to caregivers.
    • Be aware of children from special populations at higher drowning risk and talk with their caregivers about safety practices.
    • Discuss the interaction of substance use and drowning risk; male adolescents are at especially high risk.
    • Encourage conversations between children and caregivers about swimming skills and what to do if a parent or guardian is not present.
    • Support inclusion of cardiopulmonary resuscitation training in high school courses.
  • The policy statement lists several online resources for clinicians.

Please confirm your acceptance

To gain full access to GPnotebook please confirm:

By submitting here you confirm that you have accepted Terms of Use and Privacy Policy of GPnotebook.

Submit