In August, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools recognize Drowning Impact Awareness Month to bring attention to the realities of drowning. Although only observed specifically in Arizona this month, we know that drowning impacts families worldwide and encourage all people to remain cognizant of its effects and take appropriate steps to prevent these tragedies. After all, awareness is free.
Every year about 800 children in the United States drown, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To put that into perspective, that is the number of students it would take to fill 11 school buses. Despite these staggering figures, only 34 percent of parents know that water is one of the top causes of injury-related death among children, according to a survey by Safe Kids Worldwide, a child-safety advocacy group. It is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4, and the second-leading cause of death among kids ages 5-14.
Although drowning is not always a fatal tragedy, it often has life-long implications. Drowning is silent, and parents may have less than a minute to react. A child who’s underwater will lose consciousness after two minutes and suffer irreversible brain damage within four to six minutes.
Drowning Impact Awareness Month serves to remind all people that drowning is often preventable with these intentional measures:
- Relentless Adult Supervision: The most effective way to keep children safe in and around the water is to make sure they are supervised at all times. Friends, phones, and other distractions are quick ways to unintentionally take your eyes off of your children. Having a designated Water Watcher is another way to ensure that everyone can enjoy the water safely.
- Secure Barriers: Fences, self-closing/latching gates, secured doors with alarms are all ways to prevent young children from wandering into pools, lakes, and other water sources.
- CPR: Make sure your CPR skills are up-to-date and your child’s caregivers know it, too. Keep a phone close by when swimming, and always begin CPR immediately, even before help arrives.
- Consistent Swim Lessons: Even with the best of intentions, training children to safely swim in the water is the ultimate gift you can give them. Listen to one mother as she explains how her son surpassed all of their preventative measures and was able to survive because he knew how to swim. Swimming lessons save lives. Plain and simple.
At Aqua-Tots, our mission is to teach children worldwide to swim so that these statistics never become your reality. Enroll your children in year-round swim lessons and give them the life-saving gift of swimming.
Contact your local Aqua-Tots today to get started!