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Swimming pool parties and days at the beach brighten the summer for many Florida families. But whether you are headed to the pool or the beach, it’s important to take steps to make sure your children stay safe when they are in or around water.
Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4, according to the Florida Department of Health. Florida leads the nation in drowning deaths for children 5 and under,
Officials say that the number children who drown in Florida annually could fill four preschool classrooms. Terrible drowning accidents happen throughout the year because of the state’s warm weather, but most take place in the spring and summer.
The most frightening thing about accidental drownings is that they happen quickly and quietly. It doesn’t take much water or time. A small child can drown in less than two inches of water, and young children can slip away from adults and go under the water, never to come back up alive, in fewer than five minutes.
The Department of Health also notes that 25 percent of drownings take place in swimming pools when adults are present but aren’t paying attention to children. Floridians under age 10 are most likely to drown in a swimming pool while those 10 and older are most likely to drown in a natural body of water.
According to the Florida Injury Facts, in 2011:
As the peak swimming season kicks off in Florida, here are some tips to prevent accidental drowning: