Be Water Smart

Drowning is the number one reason for accidental death of children under the age of five in the United States.

Learning to swim and improving a child's swimming ability can increase personal safety and introduce them to a physical activity and a lifetime sport. Make sure you and your child know how to be safe and make smart choices around the water but never assume your child is "drown-proof".  Improving water safety should be a year-round activity.

Drowning usually happens quickly and silently without any splashing or screaming and often when a child is left unattended or during a lapse of supervision.  Even if a lifeguard is on duty, a parent should always supervise his or her child, regardless of the child's swimming skills. The supervising adult should not be engaged in distracting activities, such as talking on the phone, socializing or tending to household chores. Young and weak swimmers should have an adult swimmer within arm's reach to provide "touch supervision."  

The Generational Effect
37% of American adults can't swim the length of a 25-yard pool.  
Research by the USA Swimming Foundation shows that when a parent doesn't know how to swim there is only a 13% chance that their children will learn how to swim.  

More numbers to consider
-69% of drownings occur when 1 or both parents were supervising the child.  3 out of 4 of these children had been seen less than 5 minutes before being found in the pool.
-For every 1 child that drowns, another 4 are sent to the hospital for non-fatal submersion injuries.
-Participation in formal swim lessons can reduce drowning risk among children ages 1 to 4 years by 88%. 

Be Water Smart!  
1. Begin water safety training as soon as the child is crawling.
2.Teach children never to swim alone.
3. Establish water safety rules 
4. Designate an adult "water watcher" who is focused solely on children in the water to ensure constant, attentive supervision.
5. Be prepared for water emergencies by learning CPR and first aid.
6. Remove all toys and objects from the pool after use and maintain multiple layers and proper security around home pools. 
7. If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count!

Statistics compiled by:
US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

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