In the US, Drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death for ages 0-4 and the #2 cause of accidental death for ages 5-14. In Florida, California, and Arizona it is #1. Drowning happens quickly and without warning. There is no cry for help.
The best way to prevent drowning is ARM’S REACH supervision. Parents define supervision in a variety of ways. In the case of swimming, it means being actively involved and within an arm’s reach. It is not enough to simply be in the yard or poolside. Reading a magazine or talking on a cell phone while the child is swimming does not qualify as supervision, regardless of the presence of lifeguards.
A study was done by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission directed at children ages 5 and under in Florida, Arizona, and California who had drown in home swimming pools. The results might help you to better understand why drowning is still the number one killer for three states and stands at number two for the nation.
Who was in charge of supervision at the time of drowning?
69% of the accidents occurred while one or both parents were responsible for supervision
10% were with adults other than the parents
14% were with sitters
7% were with siblings
What was the location of the pool drowning?
65% were in a pool owned by the child's family
22% at a relative’s home pool
11% at a neighbor's pool
Where were they last seen? 77% of the children had been seen 5 minutes or less before being missed and subsequently discovered in the pool.
46% were last seen in the house prior to being found in the pool. Of these, 15% were thought to be sleeping
23% were last seen in the yard, porch or patio, not in the pool area. That's a total of 69% that were thought not to be in the pool area
31% were last seen in the pool or pool area
What activity was the person responsible for supervision involved in at the time of drowning?
39% were doing chores, 18% socializing, 9% on the telephone