Governor JB Pritzker proclaims May as Illinois Childhood Drowning Prevention Month, highlighting the importance of continuous supervision to prevent accidental drownings.
In 2022, Illinois witnessed 15 child drownings, including nine in pools, two in bathtubs, two in ponds, one in a creek, and one in a lake. Among pool-related incidents, seven victims were aged 5 or younger. Drowning ranks as the primary cause of unintentional death for children aged 1 to 4 and the second leading cause for those aged 1 to 14, according to the CDC.
Illinois DCFS Director Marc D. Smith emphasizes preventive measures like securing pool gates, teaching swimming, and never leaving young children alone in bathtubs. Vigilant supervision near water is vital, as drowning can occur in just one inch of water.
Safety tips encompass precautions for bathrooms, buckets, portable/inflatable pools, swimming pools/hot tubs, and ponds.
For more info and water safety resources, including posters, brochures and a coloring book for children, visit the DCFS website: https://dcfs.illinois.gov and click on Safe Kids > Health and Safety Tips for Children > Water Safety.