The Stalwart

Drowning Can Happen to Anyone; Practice Water Safety This Summer



According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, every year in the United States there are an estimated 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings, an average of 11 drowning deaths per day. While children are at the highest risk, anyone can drown. Drowning is preventable and the risk can be greatly reduced by practicing water safety.

Water safety refers to the precautions, procedures and policies associated with safety on, in and around bodies of water.
Most drownings take place May through August, which are the warmest months of the year. Now is the perfect opportunity to brush up on your water safety skills and prepare for the summer months ahead.


Swimming lessons led by a professional can help to teach proper and safe swimming techniques. These lessons will not only teach swimming skills but also basic water safety skills. After learning the basics, children and adults are likely to feel more comfortable and confident around water. These skills are crucial at any age, and it is never too late in life to take swim lessons.

Aside from basic swimming skills, basic CPR can help save a life in the event of a water emergency. CPR should be administered while waiting for paramedics to arrive. CPR training courses are typically free and easily accessible through local organizations such as the American Red Cross and American Heart Association.


Active adult supervision is one of the best ways to avoid preventable drowning in any water source. Adults should be free of any distractions like a cell phone, reading or consuming alcohol and focused on watching the child(ren) while they are near or in the water. Drowning can happen very quickly and quietly, so it is important that the supervising adult is alert and always watching.

Teaching a child to always ask for permission before going in or near water will also help to underline the importance of water safety and ensure a responsible adult is present to supervise. Once the allotted swim time is over, make sure to shut and lock all doors and entrances that give access to water. If a caregiver has safety measures in place and educates the child on the facts and importance of water safety, that child might be more cautious in and around the water.


Most people do not think that they, their child or a loved one could ever drown. Not all drownings are fatal, but they can still cause long-term damage to one’s health. Even if you don’t think it could ever happen, take proper precautions so you are prepared in the event of a water emergency.

If you have a pool or open water outside your home, you need layers of protection. This includes a four-sided fence at least four feet high, fully enclosing the pool or open water with a self-closing and self-latching door or gate.

Children should always wear a life jacket while in and around open water. If you’re at a pool, keep a life jacket on hand and offer it to a weaker swimmer if needed. Life jackets greatly reduce the risk of drowning for people of all ages and swimming abilities.

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