Despite what you might think, being a victim of drowning only takes seconds.
“Drowning does not look like it is portrayed in Hollywood. Drowning is silent, drowning victims are physically unable to call out for help. In 10 percent of childhood drowning’s, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening,” the CDC stated. They say you should never turn your back on the ocean, so why would you turn your back on any child that is near or in the water? If your child isn’t a strong swimmer, you need to be within arms reach of them at all times.
Last year in Orange County, there were 73 drowning’s and 37 were fatal. In 2012, there were 93 drowning’s and 53 were fatal—a record year in OC. Since the beginning of this year, OC has had 22 drowning’s and 9 have been fatal. Children are attracted to water, it’s that simple. You need to always keep your eyes on your kids and never put your guard down. Even if there is a lifeguard on duty or if you are just leaving for a “second” while your child is in the tub.
I was able to meet with Public Information Officer Captain Steve Concialdi to go over the importance of water safety. As some might recall, I shared a story last year of how my 18-month-old almost drowned, and it took just seconds. You can read more about it here. I was leaving the pool and I took his life jacket off. It was horrible and I am so thankful that my son is OK.
When meeting with Cpt. Concialdi, he went over the statistics and shared some of his recent calls regarding drowning’s. One of the many things that Cpt. Concialdi stressed was that if your child goes missing around a swimming pool or body of water, check that first. People also need to know their risks. For teens, adults and the elderly, never swim alone and always have a buddy. If you are swimming in the ocean, know about that particular beach and currents. Swim near a lifeguard and know how to swim out of a rip current. Never take your eyes off of your children and always be within arms reach around the water. Mixing alcohol with being in the water is a very dangerous situation; especially if there are children around. Also, Cpt. Concialdi stressed to have barriers around pools and spas.
Some of the stories he shared can be found below:
- Orange County Register – Girl, 6 and Boy, 3, Rescued in Series of Near-Drownings in O.C.
- KTLA: http://ktla.com/2014/06/02/girl-6-critical-in-latest-in-series-of-oc-drownings-near-drownings/#axzz33aabO9EZ
- A 2-year-old and 10-month-old were in the tub, and the father left the room to take a phone call. The 10-month-old was in a bath seat and the 2-year-old put the stopper in the tub. The 10-month-old somehow tipped over in the bath seat and when the father came back, the baby was submerged under water. It was too late.
- A grandmother was watching her 5-year-old and 9-month-old grandchildren. She went inside to make lunch and she asked the 5-year-old to watch the baby, however, the 9-month-old fell into the pool and the grandmother was too late to respond.
- Another child was stuck under a raft in the local pool and started drowning with lifeguards on duty. The father was able to perform CPR, and the child was taken to CHOC for observation and was released after 24 hours.
- In Yorba Linda, two children ages 6 and 4 were told they could go swimming as a treat after dinner. The 4-year-old just finished her series of swim lessons and felt really confident. The girls were instructed to go upstairs and get their suits on after dinner while the parents were washing the dishes. The 6-year-old came down stairs, but they didn’t know where the 4-year-old was. Her sister found her in the pool.
In my opinion, we need to get some organizations to speak up about drowning and get our councilmen and women on board as well. I also believe it should be made a felony if any child drowns in an adult’s care, but only if neglect is evident. Leaving your child unattended—even in a life jacket—to go in side for a moment is neglect, because it only takes a second. That should be the name of the campaign: “It Takes a Second.”
By Adrianne Grant