With the right precautions and training, drowning is completely preventable
Summer is here, which probably means that your children are looking for things to do. And in Florida, that often means water, whether it’s a dip in the pool or a trip to the Gulf, a lake, or the ocean.
While water activities are an essential part of growing up in Florida, they can quickly become deadly, as numerous grieving parents can attest. Our state has the unfortunate distinction of having the most drowning deaths in the U.S. for children four and under, and drowning is the leading cause of injury death among this age group. Florida is ranked second in the nation for drowning deaths among children one to 14. According to statistics from the Florida Department of Children and Families, 84 kids drowned in Florida in 2015.
Most troubling is the fact that the majority of those under the age of five drown in backyard pools with an adult close by – but not watching – the child. Among children ages five to nine, the greatest source of risk is a tie between the bathtub and swimming in an open body of water, where currents, distance, and fatigue can threaten even children who know how to swim. No matter the setting, adults can too easily get distracted, said SwimLife founder Kelly Whittemore, who teaches children to swim in Sanford.
“A child can drown in the seconds it takes to return a text message,” Whittemore said.
Another issue is that often a child in distress will go unnoticed because of how quietly an emergency can happen.
“Hollywood has done us all a big disservice,” Whittemore continued. “They’ve made it look like there’s lots of splashing and noise involved. In reality, a child can slip in without a splash and there’s no noise. That’s how quickly and silently it happens.”
How to keep the kids safe this summer
No matter where you are, if there is water nearby, you have to be vigilant. Here are some important tips to follow:
- Always have an adult watching at all times without electronic devices, alcohol, or any other things that can cause distraction.
- Be sure everyone knows how to swim – lessons are important – and use life jackets and inflatable floaties if necessary.
- Keep pool fences and gates closed and latched when the pool isn’t being used; even if your kids are familiar with the pool safety rules, that doesn’t mean your neighbors’ kids are.
- Make sure at least one person – preferably the adult doing the supervising – knows basic life-saving techniques like CPR and, ideally, the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).
If your kids or children you are responsible for will be doing a lot of swimming this summer, you need to do everything you can to keep them safe. And if you have never learned CPR or maybe it’s been a few years, One Beat CPR can help by teaching you how to respond in an emergency.
We offer an assortment of classes on CPR, first aid, how to use an AED, and more. We also have pediatric advanced life support certifications and recertifications for healthcare providers that are specifically designed to improve the response to and management of pediatric emergencies. All of our classes are taught by professionals and many of them can be conducted in your own home, business, or other facility.
For any questions or to learn more about what we offer, call us at 954-321-5305 or send us a message through our online contact form.