June 2023 Young Children Newsletter

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).

10 REASONS WHY EVERY CHILD (in the U.S. and the global community)SHOULD LEARN TO SWIM

  1. As a part of the recreational sports spectrum, the ability to swim is a basic right for all citizens.
  2. During their grade school careers, our school systems provide each student the opportunity to learn various forms of sport; no other sport can save a person’s life throughout their entire life.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. Giving children this basic life skill is a responsibility, not an option.
  6. Finding age-appropriate swim lessons for your child does not make your child “drown-proof”
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Aquatic exercise for people of all ages and abilities generally is not an option unless the person has basic swim skills.
  10. 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 water as on land.  No child deserves to drown or be harmed because they do not have access to basic water safety and swim lessons

Drowning is the #1 cause of accidental death in children ages 1-4. Drowning deaths/accidents are 100% preventable. 

During the month of May, National Water Safety Month, and throughout the year, Kiwanis clubs can help reduce this number of drownings  in many ways:

 Supervision – Create water watcher tags, and hand them out to your members, families, and friends reminding them to never take their eyes off children in or around water.

Water Competency – Fund swimming lessons for children in your community – set up swim scholarships at swim schools, YMCAs,  and public pools to help families who cannot afford swim lessons.

Life Jackets – Sponsor a life jacket loaner station at lakes and beaches. Children should only wear Coast Guard approved life jackets when near the water.

Barriers and Alarms – Purchase door alarms  leading to pool areas and distribute them throughout your community. You can attend festivals, farmers’ markets, and pool decks to distribute them. Child barrier fences are more expensive, but a scholarship could be set up with a pool fence company to reduce the cost.

I hope this information is helpful, and I encourage you to help promote swim lessons and safety precautions in your community. Remember: drowning/water accidents are 100% preventable!

Ava Adams, District Chair

You g Children Committee

New England and Bermuda District

Scarborough Kiwanis Club

email: [email protected]