As 2017 draws to a close, we’d like to take a moment and publicly thank you. We can’t do what we do without you, our friends, family, and swimmers, by our side. With your help, hundreds of children have learned the lifesaving skill of swimming, reducing their risk of drowning by up to 80% and creating happier, healthier, stronger kids and communities.
But we can’t afford to rest on those numbers. Here’s the bad news.
According to the CDC, approximately one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency care for nonfatal injuries. The rate of near drowning is much higher, as not all near drownings are reported. With its miles of coastlines, multitude of natural freshwater bodies, and an abundance of swimming pools, Californians are at increased risk for drowning and near drowning incidents, with drowning being the leading cause of accidental death for children between the ages of 1 and 4.
Statistics for Los Angeles County: (Available through 2013). For the years 2014-2015, an additional 27 children between the ages of 0-17 died as a result of accidental drowning.
- Among children with autism, the risk of drowning increases exponentially. “Our analysis reveals that children with autism are 160 times as likely to die from drowning as the general pediatric population. Wandering commonly occurs with autistic children, and because children with autism often have limited social and communication skills, they may seek out bodies of water as a serene place to calm themselves and relieve anxiety. Often with tragic outcomes. Given the exceptionally heightened risk of drowning for children with autism, swimming classes should be the intervention of top priority.” – Dr. Li
- Children and youth with disabilities are at higher risk for experiencing lower levels of social-emotional well-being than their peers without disabilities. They are more likely to be bullied and harassed, have a limited number of friends, and engage in fewer extracurricular activities than their peers.
Drowning prevention for members of our most vulnerable populations is literally a matter of life and death.
Now for the good news. We have a solution, and it’s simple.
Lifesaving swim lessons, creating safer, happier, healthier, confident kids. But we can’t do it without you. As your year draws to an end, consider giving to One with the Water as part of your year-end giving plan.
Finish strong by saving lives. Join us by donating to help provide need based scholarships for high risk, high need children. When you donate to One with the Water, you impact a child’s life on every plane – mentally, physically, and emotionally. For their lifetime. Donate today to provide the lifesaving skill of swimming to those who need it most.
Happy New Year, and thank you.
Molly is a member of our creative team, mom of four water-loving babies, and a fierce advocate for CPR training and really early swim instruction.