Missed swim lessons due to COVID-19 may be contributing to rise in child drownings

The cost of lessons can also be a factor for many parents.

Gillian Neff and Rose Shannon

May 19, 2024, 2:38 PM

Updated 24 days ago


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the drowning rate among children in the United States is increasing.
Over the last few years, the number of children that die each year from drowning has risen from 4,000 to 4,500. Drowning is the No. 1 cause of death for children ages 1 to 4.
While drowning impacts children of all ages, the rate among preschool age children has jumped to 30%.
Health officials say one possible reason for the increase could be that COVID-19-related shutdowns interfered with swim lessons. The cost of lessons can also be a factor for many parents.
To address that concern, the CDC is partnering with the American Red Cross and YMCAs to help families find low-cost or no-cost lessons.
Earlier this month, Stewie The Duck Swim School and Step Into Swim launched a program that will provide free swim lessons for children in underserved communities throughout the tri-state.
Dena Blum-Rothman, a survival swim instructor at Infant Aquatics Connecticut, says ways to prevent drownings include having a constant eye on children while in the water, teach child swim safety early on and do not rely on swim floaties to keep children's heads above water.

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