Angel Here!  May is Water Safety Month and as a momma of a child who nearly drowned in a family pool water safety is at the top of my list for utmost importance especially when summer begins!

It was hot August day in 2006 and our family had just came inside from swimming at my ex-husband's parents home.  Parker was 3 at the time and Braden just 18 months.  I took Braden to change his diaper and lay him down for a nap and Parker was in the kitchen.  He had an accident on the floor (we were potty training) his memaw being the protective grandparent didn't want us to know so she took him out on the back deck to dry him off.  However, she didn't have a towel.  She sat Parker up on the swing, told him to stay put, and went back inside to get one.

Next thing I know I hear her scream from outside telling Parker's dad to come quickly.  I knew in my heart what had happened.  I grabbed my phone to dial 911 but before I could hit send Kyle was back inside telling me to get outside now that Parker was blue and not breathing.

I ran outside turned him over and began CPR.  After two rounds (which felt like hours) his chest rose and I turned him over and he gushed water out and began screaming and crying.

Thankfully our story ended better than most do in this situation and we can gladly say Parker is with us today!  I wanted to share with you recent findings and water safety tips as your summer starts.

Angel Welsh

Now this was in a family pool setting.

According to Safe Kids Worldwide,  New Drowning Study Highlights the Surprising Hazards of Open Water.   Just Because Children Can Swim in a Pool Doesn’t Mean They’re Safe in Lakes, Rivers and Oceans

Washington D.C. (May 22, 2018) – As summer swimming season kicks off this Memorial Day Weekend, Safe Kids Worldwide are releasing a new report today highlighting the danger of childhood drowning, with a specific focus on incidents that occur in lakes, rivers, oceans and other types of open water.

Key findings of the research include:

Overall, an estimated 1,000 children fatally drown in a single year, 70 percent of them between May and August.
An additional 7,000 children end up in the emergency room because of a drowning scare. That means a minimum of 150 families a week are impacted by a tragic or frightening event.
Most often those drownings take place in open water. A 10-year-old, for example, is three times more likely to drown in open water than in a pool. Older teens are more than eight times more likely to die as a result of an open water drowning than a pool drowning.
Boys are at greatest risk: 8 in 10 open water fatal drowning victims are males.
African American children are twice as likely to fatally drown in open water than their white counterparts. American Indian children are at even higher risk.

Download the Report, Infographic and Fast Facts

The report, Hidden Hazards: An Exploration of Open Water Drowning and Risks for Children, reveals that, while the number of fatal drownings among children and teens declined over the past several decades, the downward trend stopped between 2015 and 2016, when there was a 14 percent increase in fatal drownings. The 1,002 drownings in 2016 (latest data available) was the highest number in five years.

“Just because children can safely navigate water in a pool doesn’t mean they’ll be able to handle the challenges of open water,” says Torine Creppy, president of Safe Kids Worldwide. “Lakes, rivers and oceans present a number of potential hazards—such as dangerous drop-offs, strong currents, hard-to-assess distances and limited visibility—that parents need to carefully consider before allowing their kids to wade in.”
“Findings from our research underscore the importance of water safety, a key focus for Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen cause initiative,” says Lu Yarbrough III, Nationwide’s associate vice president of Enterprise Diverse and Cause Marketing. “Our goal is to arm parents and caregivers with the information, tips and tools they need to take preventative action and ensure children can safely enjoy outdoor activities in and around water.”

Keeping Kids Safe in Open Water

The report also features a variety of tips that parents can use to keep children safe around open water. These include:

Use designated swimming and recreational areas whenever possible. Professionals have assessed the area, and there are usually signs posted regarding hazards and lifeguard schedules.
Watch kids when they are in or around water. Keep young children and inexperienced swimmers within arm’s reach of an adult. Make sure older children swim with a partner every time.
Make sure children learn to swim. Every child is different, so enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready.
Use a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket in and around open water Get a life jacket (also called a personal floatation device or PFD) that is appropriate for a child’s weight and the water activity.
Learn water rescue skills and CPR. It is important to know how to respond in an emergency without putting yourself at risk. Learning basic rescue skills and CPR may help you save a child’s life.

For more information on keeping children of all ages safe around all types of water, go to safekids.org/watersafety

Brush up on your water safety!  Also check out the great National Water Safety Month Facebook Page.

Praying all families and friends and anyone reading this have a safe and blessed summer in and out of the water~