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Drownings of Florida children have doubled over the same time last year

Posted at 7:38 AM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 07:40:35-04

Drownings have increased with children in Florida by 100% between Jan. 1 and May 10, as opposed to last year around the same time, according to Palm Beach County Ocean Rescue.

For children in the state between ages 1 and 4, drowning is the leading cause of death. Annually, enough children to fill three to four preschool classrooms drown before their fifth birthday, according to Florida Health.

May is National Water Safety Month and with beaches reopening in Florida, lifeguards and officials want to make sure you are staying safe by implementing best practices, no matter if its in a pool, beach, or on a boat.


Palm Beach County Ocean Rescue says to not let your guard down during the coronavirus pandemic.

"People are home, children are home that are usually in day care," Palm Beach County Ocean Rescue Lt. Dan Barnickel said. "It's an adjustment for everybody. And just to make sure that those layers of protection are in place to keep children safe."

Barnickel went on to say to make sure that you are employing the five layers of protection which includes adult supervision and swim lessons.

Safety tips:

  • Never leave a child alone in or near water.
  • Always take responsibility and designate an official water watcher.
  • Teach your children how to swim.
  • Teach your children to stay away from drains and suction outlets.
  • Install proper barriers, covers and alarms around your spa and/or pool.
  • Be prepared and know how to perform CPR on children and adults

For more information visit the Drowning Prevention Coalition website and get current information for Palm Beach County beaches here.