MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in children ages 1 to 4, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
A new report from the AAP shows 900 children died from drowning and 7,200 were seen in the ER in 2018. Toddler and teen boys are at highest risk.READ MORE: COVID-19 Testing Sites In South Florida
One study shows more than half of drownings occur between 4 and 6 p.m.
“We have people coming and going from work. We have meal preparation. There’s just a lot going on during that time frame. And it would be easy for a small child to get into the water unexpectedly,” said Dr. Sarah Denny with the AAP.
The report recommends multiple layers of protection for prevention, including close, attentive adult supervision in and around water and four-sided pool fencing with self-closing and self-latching gates.
“Making sure you’re taking as many precautions as you can, getting your child swimming lessons,” said Dr. Denny. “We talk about having a water watcher, the person who is assigned to watch the children in the pool.”
Adam Leeson is heading to first grade. The 7-year-old boy’s mom, Maribeth, said she knows how lucky they are. Two years ago, he suffered what is called a non-fatal drowning in a friend’s pool while she was close by getting her daughter ready to swim.READ MORE: COVID-19 Vaccination Sites In South Florida
“It was just the worst moment you can imagine. Something you just never think is going to happen to you or to your family,” Maribeth said.
A friend pulled Adam out and started CPR. He spent four days in the hospital and made a full recovery.
All of Maribeth’s children are taking swim lessons, including Adam.
“There was a lot of adults around, so I was just thinking he was going to be OK. And then I realized, after this happened, I could have done so many things differently. And so that’s why I thought, you know what, maybe this is important to share,” Maribeth said.
She hopes telling her family’s story will save lives.MORE NEWS: Miami Weather: Hot & Sticky, Late Morning Storm Likely
Adam’s mom also wants others to know the signs of drowning because it often doesn’t look like a struggle and can happen in silence. Look out for a person bobbing up and down and not getting the mouth above water, or someone horizontal with their face in the water for more than 30 seconds.