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Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Drowning Prevention

As of July 1, 2023,  Professional Licensing and other health and occupational licenses will become part of the Iowa Department of Inspections,  Appeals, and Licensing (DIAL) as a new organizational structure for state government goes into effect. Government departments and agencies that provide related services or have similar business functions are aligning to better serve Iowans.  You can expect the same quality services you get now from HHS to continue as usual. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of death by unintentional injury in children between the ages of 1 and 4. The Swimming Pool and Spa Program highlights the need for Iowans to practice good water safety, and offers a reminder that these deaths and injuries are preventable.

The Swimming Pool and Spa Program also encourages Iowans to remember water safety year round in pools, spas, indoor water parks, and aquatic facilities. Parents and caregivers can make swimming safer for children by:

  • Providing direct supervision by parents or caregivers for all young children and non-swimmers that you bring to the pool, even when lifeguards are provided. Keep children under the age of 5 within arm’s reach whenever in or around the water.
  • Providing fences with self-closing, self-latching around swimming pools and spas.
  • Learning to swim and teaching your children to swim. Formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning particularly among young children.
  • Learning adult and infant CPR.
  • Using lifejackets for non-swimmers to bridge momentary lapses in supervision
  • Avoiding alcohol use while swimming or supervising children.
  • Avoiding holding breath for extended periods or hyperventilating.