June 2021 Young Children Newsletter
Good morning fellow Kiwanians!
Every day about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury/death in the United States.
- From 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents.
- About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
- More than 50% of drowning victims treated in emergency departments (EDs) require hospitalization or transfer for further care (compared with a hospitalization rate of about 6% for all unintentional injuries). These nonfatal drowning injuries can cause severe brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (e.g., permanent vegetative state).
The Florida District of Kiwanis has established EVERY CHILD A SWIMMER PROGRAM . (ECAS)
The “Every Child a Swimmer” program teaches children 5-11 years of age the basics of swimming over the course of 4 weeks. This program is best suited for children that do not have much swim experience.
The link below has specific information and videos explaining the program and how Kiwanis Clubs can help promote swimming education to young people in our communities.
10 REASONS WHY EVERY CHILD (in the U.S. and the global community)SHOULD LEARN TO SWIM ( modified from ECAS)
- As a part of the recreational sports spectrum, the ability to swim is a basic right for all citizens.
- During their grade school careers, our school systems provide students the opportunity to learn various forms of sport; no other sport can save a person’s life throughout their entire life.
- The time to learn to swim is early in each person’s life since child drowning is an ever-present threat. Bodies of water are literally everywhere so this life-skill is a necessity, just like wearing seat belts while traveling in a car!
- Throughout every person’s life, there will be frequent occasions where water in some form will be nearby. Accidents of this type happen daily. Swimming is a life-skill that once learned, is never forgotten.
- Globally there are many lakes, ponds, rivers, swimming pools and watering holes. Giving children this basic life skill is a responsibility, not an option.
- In every state families have backyard swimming pools. While there are all types of regulations requiring barriers to entry, done of them are foolproof.
- The only secure way of minimizing accidental drownings in the 0-4 age group is by preventative measures, not mechanical devices or barriers which can provide a false sense of security.
- It would be rare for an accidental drowning to occur when the child or adult already knows how to swim and has competent water safety knowledge.
- Aquatic exercise for people of all ages and abilities generally is not an option unless the person has basic swim skills.
- Swimming is a fun, healthy form of exercise and is a family-style form of sharing happiness together!
DEFINITION OF SWIMMING: “To be as comfortable and to move as easily in deep water as on land.”
I encourage you to take the time to investigate the ECAS link above.
Kiwanis Clubs can partner with the Red Cross, YMCA, United Way, Boys & Girls Clubs, and other community groups to establish this program. No child deserves to drown or be harmed because they do not have access to basic water safety and swim lessons.
Ava Adams, District Chair
Young Children Committee
New England and Bermuda District
Member, Kiwanis Young Children International Committee