Let's Talk Swimming By: Amanda Miller
With Summer comes hot weather. With hot weather comes swimming pools, lakes and other bodies of water. Have your kids had swim lessons yet? These days you can start with infants, getting them used to water. I went to the CDC's website and found these startling statistics:
In 2007, there were 3443 fatal unintentional (non-boating) drownings in the United States. This averages 10 deaths per day!
More than 1 in 5 of these fatal drownings were of children 14 years of age and younger. For every child who died from drowning, another 4 children received emergency room care for non fatal submersion injuries.
Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. In 2007, among children 1 to 4 years old who died from an unintentional injury, almost 30% died from drowning. Fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years.
Nearly 80% of people who die from drowning are male.
Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged 1 to 4 years.
Seconds count. CPR performed by bystanders has been shown to improve outcomes in drowning victims. The more quickly intervention occurs, the better change of improved outcomes.
I know that these statistics are frightening and it is not my intention to scare you into keeping your children away from water. Be sure your kids can swim. Sign them up for a quality swim class; if the skills are not mastered yet, be sure they wear a life jacket in and around water; be sure there is always a responsible adult watching kids around water and be sure the adult knows CPR.
Enjoy your summer this year and every year to come!