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Strategies for drowning prevention.

Author: Mariia Rezhylo 3x World Record Holder in swimming & founder of Fast Swim Academy

Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4, and the second leading cause of injury-related death among children under 14. In the United States, more than 10 people drown every day. Of these, 2 are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning can happen quickly and silently, and it can occur in even just a few inches of water. That's why it's so important for parents and caregivers to learn CPR and actively supervise young children around water.


11 - Average number of drownings per day in US

3,960 - Average number of drownings per year

40% - Drowning events that result in an ER visit

Drowning most often occurs during the warmer months, from May to August, and in home pools. And, unfortunately, the statistics in Tampa Bay are only increasing. In 2021, the number of child drownings in Tampa increased by 38 percent. The majority of drownings among young children occur when an adult is supervising but not actively paying attention – instead talking on the phone or checking email. Young children can drown quickly and quietly near water and adults may not realize what has happened until it’s too late. This statistic is sobering, but there are several things parents can do to help prevent drowning.

Step by step guide


Our guide provides simple recommendations from professional swimming instructors to help your family stay safe in the water.

1. Learn to swim

Drowning is one of the leading causes of death among children, but many of these accidents could be prevented with proper instruction. I always start my classes by emphasizing the importance of safety. My students learn that they should never swim alone and that they should always stay within arm's reach of a parent or guardian. We also review basic water safety rules, such as never running near the pool and always looking before entering the water. I also make sure to emphasize the importance of following instructions from adults.

2. Supervise your child

It's critically important for parents to always supervise their kids when they're around water. Whether it's a pool, lake, or even a bathtub, you should never let your child out of your line of sight. If you need to leave the area for any reason, take them with you or ensure that another adult will watch them. It only takes a few minutes for a drowning accident to happen, so it's important to be vigilant at all times.

3. Explain the danger of drowning

Children are naturally curious and love to explore. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead them into dangerous situations. That's why it's so important to teach your child to never go near water unless an adult is present. Make sure they understand the danger of drowning and that they should never go near water without supervision. Even if they know how to swim, they should always have an adult nearby in case of an emergency.

4.Avoid alcohol and drugs

Though it may seem like an obvious thing, many people do not realize the dangers of drinking alcohol or taking drugs while near water. When under the influence, you are more likely to make poor decisions, such as swimming in dangerous waters or diving into shallow areas. In addition, your reflexes will be slowed, making it difficult to respond in an emergency. And if you are supervising children, it is important to be aware of their whereabouts at all times. If you are intoxicated, you will not be able to properly care for them. So next time you are planning a day at the beach or pool, make sure to leave the alcohol and drugs at home. Your safety – and the safety of those around you – depends on it.

5. Is your child missing? Check the water first

As any parent knows, children can be unpredictable. They can wander off in an instant, and it can be very difficult to keep track of them at all times. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to tragic consequences. If you can't find your child, while your first instinct might be to check their usual hiding spots, checking the water first is essential. It only takes a few seconds for a child to drown, so if you think they might be in the water, don't delay. Checking the water first could save their life.

6. Keep their lifejackets on

One of the best ways to protect your child from drowning is to make sure there is a life jacket or other flotation device available for them. Children should always wear life jackets when they're around open water, even if they know how to swim. This will help to keep them safe in case they fall into the water unexpectedly. In addition, you should make sure that the life jackets are properly fitting and in good condition.

Don't forget that open water and even your own swimming pool is a source of increased danger, and even a water level of several tens of inches can lead to an accident or death of your child. Water safety is so important for kids - and it's something that takes a little bit of preparation and effort on your part as a parent or a caregiver. Memorize our guide and take these simple steps to keep your child safe around water, and you'll be able to relax and enjoy all that water has to offer!


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