Each year in the United States, more children between the ages of one and four years old die from drowning than any other injury or illness.
With summer upon us and kids soon to be splashing in pools and the lakes all throughout Central Texas, now is a good time for important reminders on water safety.
Safe swimming is paramount for all children, but even more so for those who have neurological conditions or physical limitations, including epilepsy, which results in frequent and often unpredictable seizures. Bathing, swimming and other water activities should be done with strict adult supervision.
Epilepsy is one of the many neurological conditions that our team of board certified pediatric neurologists treat at our locations in Austin and Cedar Park. Here are some water safety tips they share for families affected by epilepsy to help enjoy safe swimming this summer:
- Consider enrolling your child in supervised swimming lessons NOW, before the busy swim season starts later in May. Make sure the instructor is aware of their epilepsy.
- Always swim in a pool supervised by either a certified lifeguard or a responsible adult who knows of your child’s condition.
- Set firm boundaries of where they can go in a pool, like how far from the edge and how deep, and they must swim with someone in the water.
- Have your child select a fun and bright-colored new swimsuit for summer. This helps them stay easily visible to you or another responsible adult who is watching them.
- If you are swimming in open water, like a lake, river, or the ocean, always have them wear a properly fitting life jacket.
First Aid for Seizures in the Water
In the event that your child suffers from a seizure while swimming, act quickly to get them out of the water and place them down on their side. Next, check that their mouth and airway is clear of water. Call 911 immediately if they have stopped breathing or there is an injury to the head, neck or spine.
Other Water Safety Tips
Our pediatric neurologists recommend that children who have epilepsy take showers instead of baths. While in the bathroom, do not allow children with epilepsy to lock the door to ensure you are able to reach them safely and quickly if they fall or have a seizure.
More about our dedicated Epilepsy Program and the many effective therapies that we offer to help manage your child’s condition and help them lead a full and active life can be found here.
At Pediatrix Child Neurology Consultants of Austin, our priority is providing patients and their families the most convenient, comfortable, and positive experience while receiving expert care from highly experienced neurologists and epileptologists. To make an appointment with one of our board-certified specialists, please contact us here.