The AAP wants to raise awareness that drowning is the No. 1 cause of injury-related death among children ages 1-4, and a leading cause of death among teens. Drowning can happen to any family, and it’s quick, and it’s silent. Nearly 1,000 children and teens drown every year in the U.S.
Drowning is also preventable! Families and communities can work together to implement solutions we know can keep children safe.
Let’s start now by sharing ways we can keep children safe this summer – and year-round. On May 23, the AAP and partner organizations will join in a social media storm to spark conversations and spur communities to action to protect children.
Between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET on May 23, join AAP and other pediatricians, parents and professionalorganizations in a day-long social media storm to share information on how to prevent drowning using #DrowningPrevention. By concentrating our efforts on one day, we can maximize the impact and reach of our messages.
What you can do:
- Post messages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest about drowning prevention (see sample messages below). Check out AAP’s new materials and graphics at www.aap.org/drowning for ideas and sharables.
- This could include information about rates of drowning, children and communities at highest risk, prevention strategies, or personal messages about children who have drowned.
- Share a tip about how families can protect children. Consider focusing on a particular age group (babies, toddlers, school-aged children, teens) or a general message about pool safety. AAP resources have detailed breakdowns by age group to guide your posts.
- Share a story. Sharing stories about how children drowned can help illustrate to other parents how real the risk is.
- Take a video on your phone of yourself talking about your experience with drowning or a message for families or community leaders. This can be informal and in your own words. We suggest keeping your video to less than one minute. Film in a horizontal orientation, and make sure there is light on your face. Be authentic and be yourself.
- Post a photo of a child you know who has drowned and tell their story in a post or thread.
Be sure to include the #DrowningPrevention hashtag in all of your posts! Also feel free to tag @AmerAcadPeds or @HealthyChildren in your post so we will see it.
What AAP will be doing:
- Posting a video featuring 2 moms who lost children to drowning, talking about what they wish they had known – and want other moms to know.
- Sharing the resources at www.aap.org/drowning (infographics, videos, PSAs and articles).
- Engaging with pediatricians and pediatric trainees to share tips and information for families on their social media platforms.
Important messages (see more at www.aap.org/drowning):
- Drowning can happen to any family. Nearly 1,000 children and teens drown every year in the U.S.
- Drowning is quick, and it’s silent.
- Drowning is the No. 1 cause of injury-related death among children aged 1-4, and it is the second-leading cause of death among teens.
- Drowning can happen even when kids aren’t supposed to be swimming. Among children under 4, nearly 70% of drownings happen during a non-swim time.
- Drowning can be prevented! Talk with your pediatrician today about how to keep your child safe.
- Some safety steps recommended by AAP include:
- A fence that completely surrounds a pool can reduce drowning deaths by 50%.
- Doors leading to a yard or pool should be locked.
- All children should learn to swim! Swimming lessons may be beneficial to children starting between ages 1 and 4. Parents know their children best and should look for swimlessons that fit their child, and that teach basic water safety skills.
- Any standing water can be dangerous to a young child. Parents should install bathroom door locks and toilet latches, and empty buckets, pools and tubs immediately after use. When a child is in the bath, an adult must always be with them and watching them closely.
We can reduce drowning and save children’s lives by working together to implement the safety measures we know will protect children.