May 2013 is National Drowning Prevention Month and across the country many different campaigns are underway to make people more aware of the risks of drowning, particularly for children and kids out of school for the summer.
How serious is the risk of drowning in the United States today? From the National Drowning Prevention Alliance comes these facts:
- Drowning is the second-leading cause of death to children ages 1-4 in the United States.
- Drowning is the number one cause of death to children ages 1-4 in most southern states.
- In many cases, drowning is a silent event, without splashing or a call for help.
- In most areas of the country, the majority of child drownings occur in backyard pools & spas.
- Learn to swim.
- Watch swimmers in or around the water.
- Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
- Use Buddy Systems and Lifeguards.
- Heed warning flags.
- Know the terrain.
- Avoid rip currents.
- Use life jackets.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Learn boating safety.
- Know the weather.
Drowning deaths are fast and often silent. All too often, young people and small children are victims.
Adults who are caretaking youngsters near bodies of water need to be vigilant, and aware of legal duties that may exist for them to protect against drowning dangers in their roles of teacher, coach, camp counselor, etc. Swimming and water sports are fun but safety must always come first.