I just heard about another child who drowned over the 4th weekend. There's been so many this year already. And I'm angry. The Stats have surpassed all of last year's #s already.
So I did some checking online:
*About 800 children 14 years old and under die from
drowning JUST IN FLORIDA PER YEAR!!!
*It is the leading cause of death in that age group.
*Another 400 are taken to emergency rooms
* 15% don't make it
* 20% suffer permanent damage
* Florida has 3 times the national average of drownings
* 60 - 70% of those drownings are in swimming pools.
We've have a law on the books since 2004 for residential
swimming pool safety, requiring homeowner to fence off
the immediate pool area with a 4' high gated fence.
Yet the stats go up every year.
There are programs in every county, if not most towns, teaching swimming and water safety. How can this be happening?
Most of these incidents are accidents due to negligence
or lack of communication between adults, who were to be monitoring these "babies". And to see the heart- break and anguish on these families faces on TV makes my heart ache. But it makes me more angry.
When my niece was born (she's now 14), I hounded my brother to teach her not go near the water unsupervised and how to tread it, should she fall in to a canal or pond or pool. He knew how to swim, but didn't like the water. His wife, my SIL, still does not know, after living here 20 years.
He put it off and put it off. Finally, when she was 3, I brought her here and she was scared to death. I bought
all the bubbles for her arms, colorful tubes and noodles, and we started on the top 1st step, letting her sit there, like in a bathtub, watching me have a good time. Gradually I worked her to standing and sticking her face in the water, then kicking, etc, etc. Then I started throwing a quarter at her feet, and she went right for it. I paddled her around, played "whale" with her riding on my back, then moved on to her jumping in, then taught her how to dive, and when not to.
It took alittle time, one whole summer, but it was the most rewarding thing I think I've ever done. And knew she would alway be safe.
We have water everywhere down here. How could any adult not give this to their child. Did I mention, this makes me so angry?
When my mother's kids were born, she, being a city kid, didn't know too well how to swim, and was scared to death to stick her head in the water, so she made sure someone else taught us when we were all 3 years old.
Please, please, let this be a warning.
If you know your kids can't at least tread water, even if you can't or won't go near the water yourself, find a way to give this lesson to your children. You can't always be everywhere, but you can give them the tools to help themselves.
I love the water and thank my mother every time I hear one of these tragic stories.
I apologize for my ranting, and we're already halfway thru the summer, but all the more reason to bring it up now.