Arkansas ranks #7 for pediatric drownings
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
The leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 4 is unintentional drowning according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Not only is this an issue nationwide, but the CDC ranks Arkansas 7th in the nation for pediatric drownings.
Just last year, eight kids between the ages of 1 and 4 drowned in Arkansas the health department tells Channel 7. Another eight people who drowned were between the ages of 5 and 24 years old.
Some factors that influence the risk of drowning include: lack of swimming ability, lack of barriers such as pool fencing and the lack of close supervision.
For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for non-fatal submersion injuries the CDC reports. Research shows that participating in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning among children 1 to 4 years old.
The assistant director of the Jim Dailey Fitness and Aquatic Center recommends teaching your child the basics at a young age.
"The basic stuff, floating, getting comfortable putting their face in the water, exhaling under water, bringing their faces out of the water, kicking, moving their arms around and stuff like that,” said Harrison Cush. “Some of those kids, just like in school, they might understand what you said and how they might be able to walk through it with you, but again it's going to take a lot more to practice."
Most swimming lessons start at the age of 3, but experts recommend starting even sooner.