According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) drowning is the leading cause of injury death in U.S. children ages 1-4 years and the third leading cause of unintentional injury death in children and adolescents ages 5-19 years. The Department of Children and Families declared that this year, 52 children have died from drowning in Florida.
Unfortunately, Florida is the state where more children drown than any other in the nation. Due to this data, two lawmakers in Florida filed a bill to make water safety education required in the health curriculum for students.
They recommend that each school district incorporate age-appropriate water safety instruction for students in grades kindergarten through 12. They believe that education could be key to saving lives.
According to this bill Water Safety education includes but is not limited to:
The proper use of flotation devices.
Awareness of water conditions; how to respond if caught in a rip current and safe behaviors in and around the water.
The importance of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) for drowning victims.
The importance of installing sensors on doors or windows that exit to a pool area barriers and fencing.
The importance of avoiding alcohol and substance use with water recreation.
The importance of formal swim lessons.
If this bill becomes a law, Florida could require water safety lessons in schools starting in July of next year. At Ocaquatics, we believe that swimming is a necessary life skill and an important part of any water safety program. We will continue to support water safety education in the community and we hope this bill gets approved so that we can help more families to be SAFER around water. If you want to know more about our lessons click here.