PORT SAINT LUCIE, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Health says drowning is quick and quiet, and while it happens year-round, most drowning incidents occur in the spring and summer.
The department's website reports that in Florida, enough children drown each year to fill four preschool classrooms. The drowning rate among children age five is the highest in the nation.
It can happen in a bathtub, a swimming pool, or in an open body of water, but the Florida Department of Health reports that it takes less than two inches of water. Most children are out of sight for less than five minutes when the drowning occurs.
The "Keep your Eyes on the Kids" Drowning Prevention Project urges parents to closely supervise children when they are near any body of water. The program encourages parents to designate a specific adult to watch the children, eliminating the possibility that adults assume someone else is watching the kids when in fact, nobody is paying attention.
Tips for parents from the Drowning Prevention Project:
- Never leave a child unsupervised in or around water, not even for a second
- Install four-side isolation fencing with a self-closing, self-latching gate around pools and spas
- Install alarms on all doors and windows that lead to the pool
- Learn to swim
- Learn CPR
- While participating in open water sports and recreation, use U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices.