season, and you know what that means: every kid within a ten-mile radius will
be jumping, screaming and splashing their way into the abyss that is now summer
Guess whose job
it is to make sure they don't get hurt or end up on the wrong side of the
The C.S. Mott
Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., recently shared findings
from a National Poll on Children's Health that was taken earlier this year.
What they found was that more than a third of parents would allow their child to be
in residential or hotel pool—WAIT FOR IT—unsupervised!
Hey, 1974 just
called. They want their kids back.
While only a
small number of parents would let their child swim in a murky lake (16 percent)
or shark-infested waters (13 percent) without an adult present,37 percent permitted their child to stay in a home, hotel or neighborhood
pool without adult supervision.
based on responses from 1,543 parents of children ages 6 to 18, also claimed that
a child's likelihood of taking swimming lessons differed based on race and
ethnicity. This was blamed on the expense and time needed, often due to
According to the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading
cause of injury-related death in kids ages 1 to 15. Nearly 1,000 American
children die every year from unintentional drowning and five times that number
receive care in an emergency department for non-fatal water-related injuries.
That means (if
you can't afford lessons), you should at least stick around.
places such as a backyard pool may provide a false sense of security,"
says poll co-director and Mott pediatrician Dr. Gary L. Freed.
"We strongly advise parents to closely supervise kids at all times, even
if they think their child is a good swimmer."
And it's not just doctors being alarmist. These deaths are real.
can, and do, happen in private and hotel pools as well as in lakes and the
ocean—even at shallow depths," Freed said. "Swimming lessons and
proper supervision are critical to making sure kids are safe around the
So, sure, we're all at risk for being called "helicopter moms" but there are times where the hovering is warranted, even crucial: around water. What's important to remember is that anyone can drown—even a seasoned swimmer. No child should be near water alone, even if you're just running up to the room for more sunscreen.