Story by: Kim Huston on July 16, 2019
Germany had more than 300 drownings in the summer of 2018. The German Lifeguard Association (DLRG), the world’s largest lifeguard organization, issued a warning to parents in response: There is a direct link between being distracted by smartphones and child drowning deaths.
Studies show that cell phones are a growing distraction for parents who should be supervising children in different settings (such as at a playground). Children with distracted parents were significantly more likely to engage in riskier behaviors. Studies also showthat parents may overestimate their child’s swimming abilities and believe that active supervision is less necessary if their 2- to 5-year-old child has completed swimming lessons. However, drowning rates are highest among children ages 1 to 4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Most drownings of young children happen in home pools, often very fast and silently. It only takes seconds for a child to go under water. Children typically do not splash or cry for help.
“An adult should monitor children at all times while in the water,” said Reecha Lusby, PA-C, physician assistant with Norton Children’s Medical Group – Fairdale. “No matter how good of a swimmer a child may be, it’s safer to be supervised. No one should ever swim alone; it’s safer to have backup should something unexpected happen.”
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Here are some tips to make sure your family is swimming safely: