POINT OF VIEW: South Floridians need to become ‘water smart’


It can happen in the blink of an eye or the turn of a back. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare, but it’s a reality we must acknowledge. As the summer temperatures begin to settle in, countless South Floridians will try to beat the heat each day by seeking refuge in a swimming pool or other body of water. The time to focus on water safety and drowning prevention is now.

Just last week we read a headline that seems hard to fathom: “Local boy dies one week after swimming.” A 4-year-old boy lost his life from a condition called dry drowning (also known as secondary drowning). He was playing in knee-deep water over Memorial Day weekend when a wave knocked him over. He quickly got up and seemed fine for the rest of the day. However, Frankie Delgado unknowingly inhaled water into his lungs which over time caused his blood oxygen levels to drop and his heart to slow resulting in a cardiac arrest.

There was an incident even closer to home in North Lauderdale during Memorial Day weekend, as well. We saw the headline: “Local child drowns during pool party.” While her family and friends exited the pool and made their way inside, 5-year-old Victoria Brown found her way back to the pool without being noticed and tragically lost her life.

With the majority of homes having private swimming pools and the easy access to beaches, the risk of drowning is immeasurably greater. 

The truth is, drowning can occur in many different ways, even among a pool full of children with a group of parents looking on. It’s up to us as a community to instill proper swim safety techniques in our children. Here’s what we can do as adults to be “water smart”:

  • Provide close and constant supervision of your child;
  • designate a water watcher when in and around water;
  • enroll your child in swim lessons as early as possible;
  • learn CPR and ensure other adults who may be supervising your child are CPR-certified;
  • ensure swimming pools have four-sided fences and self-latching/closing gates;
  • and ensure swimming pools have proper drain covers.

We encourage you to have open dialogue with not only your children but your physicians, neighbors, secondary caregivers and friends about swim safety.

DAVID MARCUS and CASSIE MCGOVERN, BOCA RATON

Editor’s note: Dr. David Marcus is a board-certified pediatrician in Pediatric Associates’ Boca Raton office. Cassie McGovern is the senior human services program specialist for community health and drowning prevention with the Florida Department of Health in Broward County.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Opinion: Will automation kill our jobs?

A recent article in The Guardian dons the foreboding title “Robots will destroy our jobs — and we’re not ready for it.” The article claims, “For every job created by robotic automation, several more will be eliminated entirely. … This disruption will have a devastating impact on our workforce.” According to...
POINT OF VIEW:

It’s been almost 18 years since I lived through a school shooting. My good friend, Barry Grunow, was murdered on the last day of school by a student who brought a gun onto our campus. The recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting has opened up some old wounds. Do the people I worked with know how much and how often I think about them?...
Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon

CARTOON VIEW LEE JUDGE
Letters Clear thinking about West Palm golf course long overdue

Clear thinking on course long overdue Finally some clear thinking on the West Palm Beach public golf course. (“Developer to pour $86 million into reviving West Palm golf course,” Tuesday) I was a member for more than 20 years and enjoyed the golden era when Dub Pagan and the old guard ran the show. Nothing good has happened since the dity...
Editorial cartoon
Editorial cartoon

CARTOON VIEW LISA BENSON
More Stories