Is your child actually at risk of drowning this summer?
You know it's almost summer when swim schools start reminding you that "drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death in young children" and "swim lessons keep kids safe!" – and by the way... "sign up here!"
"Fear is a powerful motivator when that fear is aimed at possibly losing your child."
But is your child really at risk of drowning this summer? Most kids have almost zero risk – but one group has significantly more.
Let me show you where kids drown, who is most at risk, and what you can do to keep that risk close to 0 this summer.
In 2019, 412 children aged 0-4 unintentionally drowned in the United States. It's a tragedy that's hard to wrap your mind around. Losing even 1 child to drowning is heartbreaking. But it tells us nothing about your child's risk.
Let's talk about infants first. Around 40 drown babies under 1 drown every year in the United States. Almost always in bathroom/bathtub. And swimming lessons won't fix that.
That leaves around 370 kids who drowned between the ages of 1 and 4 in 2019.
About 85% of them drowned in private pools – almost always at home or another family member's home.
"Kids with pools at home are most at risk… by far."
Here's why: Kids only drown when they find unsupervised access to water – and kids with pools at home have that access.
If you don't have a pool at home (and you watch your kids closely when you go swimming) – your child's risk of drowning is close to 0.
If you have a pool at home…
The #1 thing you can do for safety is to install a 4-sided pool fence. This is the most effective thing you can do by far! Without access to unsupervised water, the risk goes back down to close to 0.
Look, there's nothing wrong with swimming lessons for learning how to swim. Of course, we offer a quicker, easier, and more affordable way for kids to learn to swim with Swim Discovery™ – and you can even do it for free. But please don't get sucked into the fear-mongering and pressure to get your child swimming lessons this summer.
If you're worried about drowning, just block access to unsupervised water.
That's my advice to you – And my entire living is based on kids learning how to swim.
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