Most parents believe that they are educated on drowning risks, responsible, and capable of protecting their children. Sadly, drowning and near-drowning are very common because parents do not fully realize how quickly and easily it happens. Even the best parents. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in children one to 14, and causes more deaths in children one to four years old than any cause other than birth defects.
The only way to keep your child from drowning is to keep your eyes on her at all times when in or near the water. That really means constantly, without fail. It only takes a few seconds of inattention for a child to get into the water or slip under and drown. Children do not make noise when they are drowning. By the time you realize they aren’t where you thought they were, it can be too late to save them, as told by this woman who almost lost her daughter.
The Danger of Family Gatherings
Child drowning often occurs at family gatherings where there are lots of adults around and children stay close by. The problem is that everyone assumes that everyone else is paying attention.
The solution is to designate someone to watch the children at all times and make sure they do not drown. If that person has to leave the area for some reason, like going inside to use the restroom, they hand off the duty to another sober adult who will watch the children until the original person comes back to relieve them. Merely seeing that the person who was supposed to be responsible has returned is not good enough. They have to acknowledge that they are back on duty.
It may sound rigid and extreme, but it is the only way to keep your child safe.