Kicking off the first day of summer, a coalition of water safety advocates is launching a campaign aimed at promoting drowning prevention for young children in Indiana. The Indiana Drowning Prevention Coalition includes a number of local community organizations, including Goldfish Swim School – Indianapolis, Indianapolis Police Department, Indianapolis Fire Department, Riley Children’s at Indiana University Health, National Drowning Prevention Alliance, USA Swimming Foundation, Indiana Parent Teachers Association and Indy Parks and Recreation.
Members of the coalition said it is important to keep kids safer around the water and prevent tragedies by educating parents about importance of water safety.
The coalition aims to spread awareness about water safety for all ages and skill levels, beginning in the summer months and continuing to educate families about the topic year-round.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury deaths for children between the ages of one to four, and the second leading cause of death for children under 14 years of age. The Coalition’s mission is to help keep Indiana residents safer by sharing important water safety and drowning prevention information.
“The drowning statistics are staggering, and a child can drown in the time it takes to send a text message,” said Andrew Joseph, area manager of Goldfish Swim School Indianapolis. “With summer now in full swing and families spending time at the pool, ocean or lake, our mission is to provide important water safety tips and information that can save lives.”
The members of the Indiana Drowning Prevention Coalition recommend six key tips that can help reduce the risk of accidental drowning:
- Put your cell phone away. Give your kids 100 percent of your attention when they are in, on, or around water.
- Never leave your child unattended in or around water. Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water.
- Designate a water watcher. Many water-related incidents occur within a crowd. Never assume that someone else is watching your child.
- Beware of water everywhere. Keep bathroom and laundry doors closed.
- Learn CPR – Learning CPR should be on the top of the to-do list. It is a crucial skill to have in case of an emergency.
- Start swim lessons early. Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%. (USA Swimming Foundation and University of Memphis, 2010)