Drowning ~ A Silent, Deadly Epidemic
"Florida loses more children under age five to drowning than any other state. Annually in Florida, enough children to fill three to four preschool classrooms drown and do not live to see their fifth birthday"
Why is it happening?!?
Water Safety & Supervision Training: Preventing Drowning in Child Care (http://www.nhwatersafety.com/drowningprevention.htm)
Training Material was funded by DCYF / Child Development Bureau
* For each drowning death, it is estimated that at least 1 to 4 children suffer a serious nonfatal submersion event, many of which leave children with permanent disabilities. (Source: Pediatrics , Vol. 112 No. 2, August 2003, pp. 440-445, Prevention of Drowning in Infants, Children, and Adolescents, Ruth A. Brenner, MD, MPH and Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention)
* 1 in 5 parents mistakenly think air-filled water wings can protect their child from drowning. (Source: KidsHealth/The Nemours Foundation, June 2004, Most Kids Who Drowned Were Supervised, Study Finds)
* Young children can drown in as little as 1 inch of water. That means drowning can happen where you'd least expect it - the sink, the toilet bowl, fountains, buckets, pet bowls, birdbaths, wading pools, or small bodies of standing water around your home, such as ditches filled with rainwater. (Source: KidsHealth/The Nemours Foundation, June 2004, Most Kids Who Drowned Were Supervised, Study Finds)
How can it be prevented?!?
Simple Layers of Protection:
~ Make Sure Kids Learn to Swim!
Children can begin lessons as young as 6 months old - we recommend lessons before a child is mobile. Infant swim lessons should include floating skills and incorporate additional skills as the child ages. Many types of swim programs are available, be sure to research each provider and program before making a decision. AGH provides accessibility to these programs for Central Florida. Visit the Swim Lesson Tab for more information including directories and scholarship opportunites!
~ Always Watch Kids In and Around the Water!
Sounds like common sense, right? Be aware of dangerous distractions and opportunities for miscommunication. During social gatherings around water, do not assume everyone has their eyes on the children/water. Assign a designated adult as a Water Watcher to prevent a devastating accident.
* When planning large pool parties, consider hiring a lifeguard. Call your local aquatics program to inquire - typically the cost is less than $50, truly priceless to help insure your fun event doesn't turn tragic.
~ Insure Barriers are In Place Around the Pool:
This includes safety fences, pool alarms and as part of this step, insure that all pool equipment is up to safety codes to avoid drain entrapments and other hazards. Visit PoolSafely.gov for more information on this topic.
~ Learn First Aid Skills!
The skills you learn could save a life, just as it saved Abby's life. AGH provides opportunities to learn these skills for our Central FL families, visit the event page to learn more and visit our partners at Citizen CPR and the National Heart Association for more information on the importance of this topic.