The dangers of swimming rings all parents should know about

The dangers of swimming rings all parents should know about

Even fun and colourful inflatables can pose swimming ring risks! Here's how to protect your child, mums and dads

It lasted for just under two minutes, but it was one of the most excruciating things to watch. The horrifying video, which was taken at a swimming pool in China, highlights swimming ring risks all parents should know about.

In the clip (you can view it below), a toddler splashes around before he tips over. He struggles to keep his head above water, but a swimming ring keeps him submerged. Unable to turn his body upright, he flails his legs about.

swimming ring risks

Screenshot: YouTube

Thankfully, the unattended toddler is spotted and rescued by staff after 72 seconds under water. The toddler survived, but not all little ones are so lucky.

swimming ring risks

Screenshot: YouTube

Swimming ring risks: unexpected dangers mums and dads should know about!

Mums and dads, we often are extra careful when headed to the beach or swimming pool.  Did you know that swimming ring risks are just the beginning? Even seemingly harmless inflatable pools pose dangers, too.

In Brisbane, Australia back in January 2017, a two-year-old was found unconscious in an inflatable pool. Struggling for his life, the tot was rushed to a nearby hospital, but he was declared dead on arrival.

Later that year, another Australian toddler died after drowning in a portable wading pool.

How to protect your child from swimming ring risks

In the United States alone, drowning is the leading cause of death by injury in children aged one to four. 

Remember – and this is VERY important – drowning is silent. We cannot stress this enough. In TV and films, it is always depicted as overly dramatic. But in reality, drowning can go unnoticed. 

So mums and dads should always be alert, even before their child jumps in the water. 

swimming ring risks

Toddlers can drown in a few inches of water, so how much more dangerous are pools? | Image source: Shutterstock

Here are some important reminders:

  • ALWAYS keep an eye on children. In 2017, a mum who was distracted by her mobile phone didn’t notice that her four-year-old son was drowning in a public pool. In Singapore, a six-year-old girl died during a swimming class.
  • Make sure that their floaters are age appropriate. Ensure that a swimming ring is not too large or too small for your child.
  • Make sure you know how deep the water is. Even kiddie pools can be dangerous for very little kids. 
  • Don’t leave them unattended in inflatable pools. Yes, inflatable pools are shallow. But a child can drown in as little as one to two inches of water.

“Young kids, especially infants, can drown in as little as one inch of water. That’s not a lot of water, really,” Dr. Maribeth Chitkara, a New York-based pediatrics professor told CBS.

Drowning can happen when you least expect it

“Don’t even run into the house for a second to go to the bathroom or grab the phone,” pediatric emergency medicine expert Dr. Mark Waltzman warns in an interview with CBS. 

Dr. Waltzman also explains how it often happens when everyone thinks “someone else” is watching the kids. 

Drowning can can happen where you least expect it

Just because you don’t have a pool at home, it doesn’t mean your kids aren’t at risk for drowning. 

Here are unexpected drowning hazards you should know about: 

  • Hot tubs
  • Bath tubs
  • Landscape fountains
  • Ponds

Dr. Chitkara urges parents to take bodies of water seriously. Even if a child is rescued in time, a near-drowning accident can cause lasting neurological damage because the oxygen in the brain is depleted. 

Watch the video here: 

Drowning is a fast, silent killer that can be prevented! Be vigilant, mums and dads!


Sources: ABC News,, CBS News, CDC

READ THIS ALSO: Dry drowning: how to save your child from this silent killer

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Written by

Bianchi Mendoza

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