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NDPA Provides Water Safety Guidance Following Early Reports of Child Drownings 

In response to national and local reports of child drowning incidents since the start of 2024, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance reminds parents, pediatricians and the public of the risk of drowning for children and the importance of practicing water safety year-round.

NDPA’s cautionary message comes as Florida reports nine fatal drownings so far in 2024; Arizona experiences a spike in child drownings with eight reports of fatal or nonfatal drownings since December 2023; and lifestyle influencer Laura Merritt Walker lost her 3-year-old son due to an accidental drowning last month in Texas.

The first step to prevent drowning is dispelling four common myths:

  • Myth #1: If a child is in distress in the water, they will be heard, and there will be time to save them.
  • Fact: Drowning incidents happen in seconds and are often silent.
  • Myth #2: Watching a child during swim time ensures their safety.
  • Fact: The majority (close to 70%) of drowning incidents among young children occur during nonswim times when a little one finds their way to a pool or open water undetected.
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  • Myth #3: Having an adult present is all that is needed to keep children safe.
  • Fact: While supervision is important, no one strategy is sufficient. Instead, NDPA advocates the Five Layers of Protection which includes barriers and alarms, water competency, supervision (close, constant and capable), life jackets and emergency preparedness.
  • Myth #4: “It can’t happen to me.”
  • Fact: So long as there is any water source accessible to a child, whether it is a pool, lake, beach or bathtub, the risk of drowning is real and present.

Through NDPA’s Families United to Prevent Drowning, over 100 families and foundations have turned tragedy into action through advocacy to help prevent future deaths.

To learn more, visit NDPA.org.

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