Summer is nearly here. You may be already planning some much-needed fun in the sun for your whole family. If your ideal summer vacation includes water, you'll want to read this, mama.
Doctors in Florida are seeing a troubling trend involving child drownings.
From March to April 2021, the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children has seen a 600% increase in pediatric drownings, compared to the same time last year. Most cases involve children under three.
"This is profound. The frustrating thing is this is a super preventable injury," Dr. Don Plumley of Orlando Health told WESH News. He says most of the cases his team has seen involve families on vacation.
Dr. Plumley says the ongoing pandemic may be to blame, at least in part.
"We really lost a whole year of opportunity of water safety instruction for children, children really weren't able to go to community pools, swim lessons," he said.
Now, just because on hospital has seen a surge in drowning cases doesn't necessarily mean it is happening everywhere. But experts say going into Memorial Day weekend, parents need to be aware of the dangers of drowning.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers advice for preventing accidents, especially among children.
Learn life-saving skills
Experts say everyone in your family—adults and children alike—should learn how to swim, float, and perform CPR.
Fence off pools on your property
To keep your backyard pool safe, install a four-sided fence with self-closing and self-latching gates.
Life jackets are necessary
Life jackets save lives. Make it a family rule for every child to wear a life jacket when around water.
Keep an eye out
It sounds like common sense but watch your children closely when they're around water. Drownings happen quickly and quietly, so make sure that someone always has eyes on your child when they're in a pool or the ocean.
We know that when you play that pool party or beach outing, you're not thinking about injuries. Unfortunately, though, they happen anyway.
It's important to recognize that and do all we can as parents to prevent water accidents. You got this, mama.