July 17, 2019 by Muriel Sommers
Splash Day 2017: Parents, Kids Get Lessons in Water Safety (Video)
Nationwide, there are 350 drowning deaths of children under the age of 5 each year, and there are another 2,600 children being treated in emergency rooms for near-drowning incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
These are sobering statistics that cause fear in every parent. However, almost all of these accidents are preventable just by following a few safety rules at home, where 65 percent of these accidents happen. According to Gerald Little, co-owner of Little Swimmers, “alarms on the doors, the windows, having a pool fence and swimming lessons” should be the first steps in creating a safe-pool environment.
At this year’s Water Safety Splash Day event, sponsored by West Kendall Baptist Hospital and Baptist Children’s Hospital, the group from Little Swimmers came out to provide basic swim lessons and evaluations, perform a mock drowning to show how quickly it can happen, and gave CPR demonstrations. Mr. Little believes that “every parent should know CPR,” not just for the swimming aspect, but because other accidents can and do happen around the home.
(Video The Baptist Health South Florida News Team covers the Splash Day 2017 event. Watch now. Video by Steve Pipho.)
The idea for Water Safety Splash Day came from Zulma Berrios, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of West Kendall Baptist Hospital, after a tragic loss in her family involving a young drowning victim. Dr. Berrios said that she and her family didn’t “want the pain and suffering to go to waste” and decided to pursue opportunities to further educate the community of the importance of water safety.
“Community events like this can’t happen if not for the commitment of a great organization like West Kendall Baptist Hospital and Baptist Health South Florida,” says Dr. Berrios. Her vision is that one day she can say: “We don’t have any drownings in our community.”