Officials issue swim safety reminder ahead of Fourth of July holiday as national drowning data ticks upwards

For the fourth of July holiday, swim instructors, pediatricians and other emergency personnel are reminding families to be safe.

Melanie Palmer

Jul 3, 2024, 2:19 AM

Updated 10 days ago

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A troubling national trend is being seen in New York. New data shows drowning deaths are on the rise, especially involving children.
For the fourth of July holiday, swim instructors, pediatricians and other emergency personnel are reminding families to be safe.
The new data from the CDC is tracking a spike in the number of annual drowning deaths from 2019.
In fact, that data shows about 500 more drowning deaths each year between 2020 and 2022. According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of death among children ages one to four. National data shows drownings increased by 28% among children in that age group in 2022 compared to 2019.
Across the state of New York, the number of drowning deaths has also increased within that same time frame. That's according to data on the state Health Department's website.
Those statistics show in 2019, there were around 100 drownings across the state. That number jumped to over 150 in 2020.
Medical professionals tell News 12 these statistics just highlight the need for swim classes starting at a young age. But above that, they say the No. 1 key to preventing these tragedies is parental supervision.
"It can be challenging to know when a drowning event is happening as well, some kids look like they are struggling but a lot of people don't look like they are struggling so having an eye on your child at all times is important," says Dr. Lance Paton, with the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital.
Dr. Lance Paton also recommends barriers or enclosures around pools to prevent children from running in unsupervised.
Swim classes are offered through Westchester County. They are available for both children and adults.


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