Summer weather is officially here which means having fun at the pool of the beach. In a push to promote safe swimming this summer, local officials are reminding parents to keep a close eye on their children.
This less than a week after Olympic Skier Bode Miller lost his young daughter in a drowning accident — proving it can happen to anyone.
“It just takes a split second,” Kanawha County Emergency Management deputy director Mike Oakley told 13 News.
“Even watching a child, it looks like they’re just flipping around and just playing in the water but 60 seconds and that could be the third time under,” explained Oakley.
It is a story that happens all too often. According to the CDC, from 2005 to 2014 there was an average of 3,536 fatal unintentionally drownings annually or roughly 10 deaths per day. One in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.
Erica Mani, the West Virginia Red Cross CEO, stressed the importance of adult supervision.
“Even the most vigilant among us have accidents,” said Mani. “It only takes a second when your not paying attention.”
Mani suggested getting kids enrolled in swim classes as early as possible and teaching children to always swim with a buddy. Both Oakley and Mani stressed the importance of having a conversation about the importance of pool safety with your children.