May 15, 2019
Every parent wants to protect their child from potential dangers. And yet, many parents are unaware of the alarming statistics surrounding drowning and water-related injuries in the United States - especially for toddlers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Each year, about 4,000 people drown in the U.S. The highest drowning rates are seen in children ages 1 to 4. Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1 to 4 than anything else except birth defects (1,2).
- In this age range, most drownings occur in home swimming pools (2).
- For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries (1).
- A child who survives drowning may suffer brain damage or other lasting consequences.
To heighten awareness on this issue, children’s book company, Books with Purpose and Aqua-Tots Swim School locations in Powell, Westerville, and Cleveland have teamed up to educate parents on important actions they can take to increase their child’s safety in and around the water.
“When it comes to toddlers, swim instruction with an emphasis on drowning prevention is vital because accidents happen without lifejackets,” said Mike Kallmeyer, Owner of Aqua-Tots Swim Schools in central and northeast Ohio. “If a child falls in the pool, we want him or her to be able to find the edge and climb out - or, if that’s not an option, to flip over and float.”
May is National Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Awareness Month, an educational initiative that acknowledges that there is more that can be done in our country to keep kids safe around water, especially toddler-aged children, he explained.
Beyond swimming lessons, Kallmeyer encouraged parents to inform themselves about common pool dangers - including murky pool water, entrapment risks, and safety considerations specific to private pools to help avoid an emergency.
These same safety lessons are critical for toddlers to understand as well, albeit on their comprehension level, which is why Books with Purpose released their latest children’s book this month, Beckett Beaver Learns About Pool Safety. The book uses a simple “Do” and “Don’t“ layout, teaching kids ground rules like not swimming alone, starting in the shallow end, and not removing life vests unless an adult says it’s okay.
“We hope that this book with be a useful tool for parents who are getting ready to go on vacation or are hoping to spend time with their little ones poolside this summer,” said Emmy Mitchell, illustrator and co-owner of Books with Purpose (and mom of twin 5-year-old boys). “This swim safety book fills an important void currently on the market for this high-risk age group.”
The book’s author, Lauren Kelley, is a former swimmer, lifeguard, and swimming instructor herself. “This is a topic that’s close to my heart,” Kelley said, who is also a mom of three kids under the age of six, including two toddlers. “The aim is for early swimmers to understand that the water is something to enjoy, but also something to respect.”
For more pool safety tips for parents or for additional water safety resources, visit .
Aqua-Tots Swim Schools serves over 100 communities worldwide, offering year-round, indoor swim instruction, community outreach and drowning prevention education to children of all abilities as early as 4 months old. As the world’s largest swim school franchise, their hand-selected instructors are passionate about teaching children how to remain safe in and around the water, using tried-and-true curriculum, 28 years in the making and trusted worldwide. To learn more about Aqua-Tots Swim Schools, visit .
About Books with Purpose
When friends Lauren Kelley, a writer, and Emmy Mitchell, an illustrator, couldn’t find the perfect books to help teach life lessons to their kids, they decided to do something about it! Together they started Books with Purpose, a series of children’s books designed to support parents as they teach their little ones lessons of love, safety, and healthy habits to last their lifetimes. For more big ideas for little minds, follow @books_with_purpose or visit .
Lauren Basom - 614-595-2045 - [email protected]
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. [cited 2012 May 3]. Available from: URL: .
2. CDC. Wide-ranging online data for epidemiologic research (WONDER). Atlanta, GA: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics; 2016. Available at .
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