Ok, people help me out! This is a serious post about a life and death problem….Accidential/Unnecessary DROWNING. It happens every summer. Here are some facts:
• 350 children under the age of five drown in pools each year nationwide.
• The majority of the deaths occur in June, July and August; most in backyard pools.
• Among unintentional injuries, drowning is the second leading cause of death to this age group after motor vehicle accidents. In some Sunbelt states such as California, Florida and Arizona, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death to children under five.
• Another 2,600 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year for near-drowning incidents. Some of these submersion accidents result in permanent brain damage.
• Medical costs for submersion victims during the initial hospitalization alone can be quite high. Costs can range from an estimated $2,000 for a victim who recovers fully to $80,000 for a victim with severe brain damage. Some severely brain damaged victims have initial hospital stays in excess of 120 days and expenses in excess of $150,000.
In a comprehensive study of drowning and submersion incidents involving children under 5 years old in Arizona, California, and Florida, the CPSC found that:
Most were young. Three quarters (75%) of the submersion victims were between 1 and 3 years old; More than half (65%) of this group were boys. Toddlers, in particular, often do something unexpected because their capabilities change daily.
Most were being watched by parents. At the time of the incidents, most victims were being supervised by one or both parents. Almost half (46%) of the victims were last seen in the house; one quarter (23%) were last seen in the yard or on the porch or patio; and 31% were in or around the pool before the accident. In all, 69% of the children were not expected to be at or in the pool, yet they were found in the water.
Most happen in familiar surroundings. Submersion incidents involving children usually happen in familiar surroundings. 65% of the incidents happened in a pool owned by the child’s family and a third of the incidents happened in a pool owned by friends or relatives.
Most accidents happen quickly. Pool submersions involving children happen quickly. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a phone. More than 3 out of 4 of the victims (77%) had been missing from sight for 5 minutes or less.
Seconds count. Survival depends on rescuing the child quickly and restarting the breathing process, even while the child is still in the water. Seconds count in preventing death or brain damage.
A silent killer. Child drowning is a silent death. There’s no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble.
Read more: http://www.momsteam.com/sports/swimming/safety/grim-statistics-on-child-drownings#ixzz5IXnejZcl
I’m a swimming instructor and coach 7 days a week. I have seen a lot. I was a lifeguard since I was 16. I think I know a little bit about this issue. I have rescued many children, both in the pool for recreational swimming and even in my classes. I have seen accidents in the water, seizures and most recently rough horseplay which ended up in a resuscitation and trip to the ER.
Also, with the drowning last weekend of Bode Miller’s toddler, parents have been on hyper-vigilance and asking questions. We as instructors, believe that waterproofing your children is our most important job.
On with my story. Today was the last day of school here in Northern Virginia. This week was our last days for the Spring session of swim classes. Tonight, I was evaluating my classes for skill mastery. I was in 3.5 feet of water and I took my students into the 4 – 4.5 feet area for treading water and swimming 15 yards of front crawl and backstroke.
As we come into the deeper water, I notice a woman leaning against the wall, just chillin’….. so I remind the kids not to splash the lady and we moved past her. I begin to review treading water and out of the corner of my eye, I see a child in the next lane over, perhaps 5 or 6 years old, not swimming correctly and struggling to continue toward the wall or lane line. I then noticed that the woman had to leave the wall and reach over into the other lane and grab her child and push her toward the wall about 5 or so feet away. This is not safe.
I, therefore, did my job and signaled a free lifeguard to ask the woman to walk or swim in the same lane as her child. Then the hoopla began. I continued to test my students and the mom and then dad began to argue with the lifeguard. The father was even rude to me saying that he “HAD TO GET IN THE WATER WITH HIS CHILD BECAUSE I SAID IT WAS UNSAFE!”
DUH! Yeah, it was unsafe and I’m sorry if he didn’t want to get wet but, nobody was supervising the his child. OMG, they scowled and fussed with the others people that they came with for at least 10 minutes. I went on finishing my class and I ignored their nasty looks as I handed out certificates to my happy kids and their happy parents.
People are either terrified that their young kids are going to drown or over confident that their kids will make it to the other side. It just doesn’t work that way. Even with my level of skill, I was always in the water near my daughters. I taught my girls how to swim and behave safely in every kind of water. We have been swimming and diving around the world and we have always gone together. We know what to do.
I’m just so incensed that these parents were so casual about such a dangerous situation. Unfortunately, I see it all the time. I don’t want to rant much further. Just one more issue. The parents that bring their kids to the pool and then are on their phones or tablets while their kids do what ever. Then they’re surprised and indignant when the lifeguards are whistling and reprimanding their kids for dangerous behavior. All the time. I see it all the time.
If you have taken the time to read this and it strikes a cord with you, please reblog this information. This is vital. This is life or death happening right in front of our faces. Drowning is preventable. Get your child swimming lessons. We begin with baby & me and go all the way up to competitive swimming. Please have a safe summer near and in the water.
Thanks, I feel better now. Coach Cindy