As of April 1, 2014, the USA Swimming Foundation has found that 199 drownings have been reported in the U.S. alone, 46 of which were children under four years old. According to the CDC, approximately 10 people in the U.S. drown every day and more than one in five victims are children under the age of 14. The USA Swimming Foundation and their child-focused water safety initiative, “Make a Splash,” aims to combat those sobering statistics by raising awareness of the importance of swimming as a lifesaving skill.
Take these steps seriously!
1. Do not panic. Stay as calm as possible and remember to breathe.
2. If you are able to roll over and float, do so and call for help.
3. Tread water (Light movements of arms and legs to stay afloat and keep your head above water. Treading too hard can cause you to lose energy)
4. Deep water bobs (submerge, push off the bottom, surface and breathe), if possible, bob towards shallow water or an exit point such as a wall.
5. Grab on to any flotation device to bring yourself to safety.
“The number of people who have drowned in 2014 so far is tragic,” said Debbie Hesse, Executive Director of the USA Swimming Foundation. “The USA Swimming Foundation is committed to preserving innocent lives and building safer communities. Through our Make a Splash initiative, we have been able to educate and increase awareness of the importance of learning to swim and water safety.”
Among minority groups, swimming statistics have shown troubling realities. A study conducted by the USA Swimming Foundation and the University of Memphis determined that 70 percent of African American and 60 percent of Hispanic children do not know how to swim. However, studies have also shown that formal swimming lessons reduce the risk of childhood drowning by up to 88%.
Parents are urged to take their children for swimming lessons as early as possible and to also make sure that no child is ever left unsupervised around any pool or body of water. But what if you or your children are caught in a possible drowning situation? Below are key things to practice that may save your life.
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