I’m going to venture a bit off topic today but hope you’ll stay with me.
It’s summer time, and to many that means fun and games, time off and relaxation.
Unfortunately, it’s also the time of year when water accidents, including drownings, dramatically increase.
This topic is dear to my heart…you see, when I was younger, I lost a brother when he drowned in our pool. We’re still not sure exactly what happened, but let me tell you things can happen QUICKLY, so much faster than you realize.
According to Safe Kids USA – “You think that it could never happen to your family, but each year more than 800 children drown. These incidents are not only preventable but predictable.”
While at the beach several years ago, I also witnessed two adult males drown. They were there fishing and just went in the water to cool off. But they couldn’t swim and there was nothing we could do.
Some important facts (thanks to Safe Kids USA):
- Since 1999, an average of more than 815 children ages 14 and under have died as a result of unintentional drowning each year.
- In 2008, 745 children ages 14 and under died from unintentional drowning.
- Since 2001, an average of more than 3,700 children sustained nonfatal near drowning-related injuries each year.
- In 2009, more than 5,000 children sustained nonfatal near drowning-related injuries.
- Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 14 and under.
- From 2006 to 2008, each year there have been approximately 5,100 pool- or spa-related submersion injuries treated at emergency departments and 383 pool- or spa-related deaths among children ages 14 and under.
- Children under 5 years of age represent a majority (76 percent) of reported fatalities and almost 80 percent of emergency department-treated submersion injuries.
- Swimming pools are the most common site for a drowning to occur among children between the ages 1 and 4 years.
- Approximately 72 percent of pool submersion deaths and 55 percent of pool submersion injuries occur at a home.
- Eighty-four percent of drowning deaths among children ages 5 and under occur at a home, while 45 percent of fatalities among children ages 5 to 14 occur at a public pool.
- From 1990 to 2005, there were approximately 100 reported cases of body entrapment by a pool or spa drain. From 1990 to 2004, there were 43 incidents of hair entanglement in the drains.
- From 2004 to 2006, 47 children died in inflatable pools. From 2001 to 2009, 244 portable pool submersion cases were reported involving children ages 11 and under.
I just ask you PLEASE watch your kids…even if they can swim, even if they’ve been to that pool a million times before and never had an issue. As hard as it is to think about, try to think in advance and be ready in case something happens…have your cell phone charged, bring life jackets, don’t get so intoxicated yourself that you can’t properly respond in a bad situation.
Safe Kids USA has some wonderful information for drowning prevention here.
The Red Cross has a great pdf about Water Safety. Check it out here.
Thanks for listening