Contemporary Pediatrics published an article written by Dr. Todd Porter and Nicole Hughes which highlights the current information available regarding swim lessons for ages 1-4.
Drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for children under four in the United States. Backyard pools, waterfront homes, drainage retention ponds, and hot tubs have become the greatest threats to the safety and well-being of our communities' most precious and innocent members.
How do we stop this epidemic?
We start by looking at what worked in the past to change the statistics on childhood deaths. When illnesses, such as polio and measles, were impacting thousands of children each year, physicians and parents knew radical change was needed. When the statistics on childhood death from car crashes continued to rise, our culture didn’t just keep the same approach year after year and hope for the best.
Instead vaccines and carseats paused epidemics in their tracks, saving thousands of children from preventable injury and death every year. Radical change is exactly what is needed to stop this drowning epidemic.
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) is a leading voice in child advocacy, and they clearly admit that the research around drowning prevention is lacking. Our proposed research agenda is designed to provide a fresh framework for the understanding and prevention of drowning. It will aim to objectively study the 0-4 year old child’s ability to independently float at the completion of their respective swim lesson program. This data will then allow parents to make educated decisions on which swim program methodology is better suited to teach their child necessary survival skills. Furthermore, it will provide objective data about the child’s developmental readiness to learn these skills at various ages.
The painful truth is that innocent children will continue to drown without this important research. Please join our fight to ensure the study sees the final two phases. The outcome will be immediately actionable data that is far reaching and will spread throughout generations.