Drowning, dubbed “the silent killer,” strikes without warning. There often are no splashes, no cries for help, just a deadly silence. In a matter of seconds, lives are lost.
With summer approaching, health care providers have a crucial role in educating families about the urgency of water safety. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) encourages families to make a splash while prioritizing safety through comprehensive guidelines.
“Summer is the perfect time to create cherished memories, and water play can be an incredible source of joy,” said Dr. Mark Chassay, chief medical officer for BCBSTX. “By following a few simple precautions and fostering a culture of vigilance, we can transform water activities into safe and enjoyable experiences for everyone.”
There are about 4,000 fatal unintentional drownings, an average of 11 drowning deaths per day, in the United States, making it a leading cause of death, especially among children. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing and yelling featured in TV dramas are rarely seen in real life. Children may be hyperventilating, their lungs deprived of air, rendering them unable to scream for help.
Unless the victim is rescued from the water, they have anywhere from 20-60 seconds before full submersion occurs, turning into a hazardous and life-threatening situation that no parent ever wants to face.
To safeguard young children, especially infants and preschoolers, these are important measures to follow:
Dr. Chassay believes that learning basic water safety and swimming skills will ensure everyone in the family is equipped with essential knowledge.
“Our goal is to empower families with the knowledge and resources needed to enjoy water activities safely while protecting their loved ones,” he said.