Near the Water? Watch Your Children!

We recently were shocked to learn of two statistics that were noted at a recent meeting of the Revere Board of Health.

The first is that about 4500 Americans die from drowning each year. To put that into perspective, that figure is about 50 percent greater than the total number of victims who died on 9/11.

The second number, which was even more surprising — and even sadder — is that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 1-4.

What is stunning to us about that statistic is that we cannot imagine that whenever a parent is with a small child near the water — whether it be the bathtub in their home or at the beach — the parent is not watching over their child like a hawk without even a second’s worth of distraction, including texting on a cell phone.

Young children are especially susceptible to drowning because of their small lung capacity, which means that once they slip under, their tiny lungs can fill with water almost instantly.

Even if a child is saved from death by drowning, the lack of oxygen to the brain can result in a serious brain injury that will have lifelong implications.

The bottom line is that a young child never should be left unattended for even a moment when near the water. And it goes without saying that every parent should be 100% sober whenever they are near water with their child, whether on a boat, at the beach, at a pool, or in their home.

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