Across the world, hundreds of thousands of people die each year due to unintentional drowning, and as the temperatures rise and the pools open, the concern for child safety around the water increases as well.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day, about ten people in the U.S. die from unintentional drowning and of these, two, or one-fifth, are children aged 14 or younger.
Richard Henderson, the Director of Butler County Emergency Management explains, “drowning is quick and it’s silent, you won’t hear someone drown.”
Just this past month, Richard received that fatal call—a child in Butler County had stepped outside their back door and onto the deck where a pool was located—a child’s life lost to unintentional drowning.
“Parents are responsible for supervision,” Richard says, “life-guards are there to scan, react, rescue, and perform emergencies procedures.”
If you bought your child a wearable flotation device from the store and think you’re out of hot water—think again.
That safety device may not be doing any saving at all.
“A lot of people like to buy the things for their children that go on their arms,” Richard explains, “they’re nice, however when that child goes under water, their arms go up above their heads and that air pocket is around their head, their face is still underwater. Just a slight look at your cellphone could be all it takes [to not see your child go under].”
Richard explains some ways to diminish the chances death by drowning is to always empty all portable pools of water after use, cover your pool and secure it, install a pool alarm, put a fence up around the area, buy your children brightly colored swimwear to spot them easily, buy only U.S. Coast Guard approved Portable Flotation Devices or swimwear and of course, supervise your child or children in your care at all times.