Across the globe, water safety awareness continues to lack in communities, resulting in high drowning deaths. At KISO Swim School, we make it a mission to create healthier, happier and safer communities through swimming. It is our job to provide constant education to help bridge this gap, thus lowering drowning rates. Given South Florida is the most prevalent area for this matter, we want to keep you up to date with the hard facts and the best resources to ensure you and your family stay safe.
Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of unintentional injury death in kids aged 1- 14 years in the US and the 5th
leading cause for all ages
Over 75% of the drowning deaths in the US occur in swimming pools
An average 3,536 drowning deaths occur in the US annually, plus 332 more boat related drownings
An additional 2,600 children are treated in the emergency room for near drowning incidents per year, with roughly 50% resulting in permanent brain damage
Over 450 individuals drown in Florida annually
In 2017, 51 children aged 1 - 4 years old drowned in Florida, increasing from 40 deaths in 2016 and making it easily the leading state in drowning deaths
In Palm Beach County alone, 47 individuals drowned in 2016, the majority of those in a pool, ocean, or canal
Drowning deaths are extremely preventable. Families should enroll children in swim lessons, learn CPR, and be sure to carefully supervise children when in or around pools, spas, the ocean, and other bodies of water. Children should never be left alone when in or near water. Drowning can occur silently and in a matter or seconds, thus it is vital to always be aware of your child's actions.
Swim lessons can play a key role in drowning prevention and water safety. According to the United States Swimming Foundation, swimming lessons decrease chances of drowning by 88%. The earlier children learn how to swim, the safer they will be around water. Many swim schools offer classes starting at just a few months old, but often also have beginner classes ranging up to an adult age group. It is never to late to learn how to
swim and doing so could be a life changing decision. Sadly, research shows that 79% of children in households with incomes less than $50,000 have no swimming ability. Not to mention, 64% of African American, 40% of Hispanic, and 40% of white children have little to no swimming ability. The ability to swim is often undervalued, but taking into account the huge number of drowning deaths, swimming is a very important skill to learn. If swim lessons is not feasible, educational resources can give you critical tips in case of an emergency. KISO Swim School is proud to offer a Water Safety Month Swim Project free and open to the public every May. This is a great opportunity to learn and be proactive.
It is especially critical when living in a state with such high drowning rates for parents to give their children the swimming education they need, as it could be a step that saves their life. However, it is important to remember that even if a child can swim, they should still be diligently supervised while in water and never left alone. No one is "drown proof", so it is crucial to stay alert and aware when around water. Beyond learning how to swim, it is also important to learn CPR and water safety techniques when boating or doing other water related activities. Life jackets should always be worn in natural bodies of water, even if children know how to swim. Practicing safe techniques around water is a key step in preventing death or injury from drowning.
For those with pools in or outside their homes, it is highly recommended to have multiple layers of barriers to reach the pool. Such barriers can include doors, self latching or closing gates, and fences outside of the pool. If the house forms a side of the barrier, using alarms on doors leading to the pool area or a power safety cover is encouraged also. Furthermore, rescue equipment in case of an emergency should be kept by the pool. Once again, the most important step is ensuring constant supervision when children are in or around the pool.
Skill of Swimming
As stated before, knowing how to swim significantly decreases the risk of drowning. A child educated on how to swim will be much safer in and around water, not only decreasing the risk of drowning, but benefiting them in many other aspects of life. In Florida, water related activities are a huge part of social life. Whether it be pool parties, group swim lessons, outings to the beach and lake, or boating and water sports, the ability to swim opens up the door to participate in a plethora of water related activities and will expand your child's social life tremendously.
Swimming is also hugely beneficial to ones physical and even mental health. Taking swim lessons is no different than participating in a sport, and has positive implications on their cardiovascular health and endurance with minimal risk of injury compared to activities like football or soccer. Not to mention, swimming itself has shown to increase self confidence, sharpen focus, and improve mental health as a whole.
Swimming is not only a fun recreational activity, but a life saving skill! Sign up for classes today and make it a priority to educate yourself and your child on water safety.