Each year nationwide 350 children under the age of five drown. “Drowning happens very quickly. It takes under 2 minutes for a child to drown,” said Lorena Rodriguez, a child advocate with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
Rodriguez educates parents and caregivers on how to keep kids safe around the water. “We just want parents to be aware that although swimming is a lot of fun, there are a lot of steps they need to take to be safe,” she said.
Things like swim lessons and knowing CPR can help save a child from drowning---but health experts also encourage families to have a plan when they’re around the water. “There are different hazards in open water. The depth and distances, you never know for sure, and it’s not as clear, you can’t really see to the bottom, so there are other hazards that you have to be aware of even with our teens,” Rodriguez said.
Regardless of a child’s age, having pool barriers, adult supervision, and a designated water watcher is important. Drowning is very silent. It’s not like it’s portrayed in the movies or shows where kids are yelling for help with their arms in the air, that’s impossible to do if a child is treading water or trying to stay above,” she said.
A tragic accident that experts say can be prevented.