Summer is almost upon us and the Owasso Fire Department reminds families of the dangers of drowning for young children.
The department expects more people to spend time in pools and lakes this year and hopes parents will prepare their children for swimming.
The National Drowning Prevention Alliance reports that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages one to four.
“Being near the water in Oklahoma State is unavoidable,” said Chelsea Major of Miller Swim School. “It will happen, and drowning has no season.”
The Miller Swim School teaches children how to swim year round.
Maddie Algeo brought her son Fletcher to school not only to learn to swim, but also to give her peace of mind.
“Having multiple children, I feel like my eyes always need to be in a million different places,” Algeo said.
According to the CDC, there are nearly 4,000 accidental drownings per year, including those related to boats, which averages about 11 deaths per day.
Owasso Fire Department Assistant Fire Marshal John Bishop said drowning is quick and quiet, and often there is no call for help.
“With when water is involved in a pool, lake, pond and river, it’s that momentary distraction and they’re gone,” Bishop said.
Bishop says even non-fatal drownings should be taken seriously.
A near drowning can cause someone to aspirate fluid into their lungs, which could lead to pneumonia or even lead to a person drowning in their sleep.
“It’s not an urgent care issue, it’s not a doctor’s office issue, it’s really an ER appointment,” Bishop said.
Algeo hopes more parents will teach their children to swim, as it could save their lives.
“I wanted to know for myself that if something were to happen that he would be safe and know how to get to the pool side quickly,” Algeo said.
Bishop says Owasso PD also has resources like offering CPR training to the public.