Each month, we provide a list of some recent drowning deaths and heroic rescues. Ultimately, these blog posts aim to provide teachable moments for our readers. To start, in 2019 we’ll spend a lot more time on the positive stories.

Basic water safety education can help to avoid unnecessary tragedies. Fortunately, we are moving in the correct direction. According to the most recent U.S. drowning statistics, January saw some of the lowest rates of drowning accidents for children aged four and under. In fact, the month was tied with the lowest rate measured since USA Swimming first began tracking drowning deaths. That’s good news, since drowning is especially dangerous for kids of this age range.

Time and time again, we see that education can save lives. Let’s take a look at the tragic drowning deaths and heroic rescues that took place in January.

January’s Tales of Drowning Deaths and Heroic Rescues

Drowning Deaths in Southeast Asia Spark Call for More Lifeguards

In the wake of two New Year’s Day drowning deaths in Southeast Asia, members of the public want more lifeguards to be stationed at beaches. In these harrowing tales, a 15-year-old Filipino boy perished at the Berakas Recreational Forest Reserve Beach and a 21-year-old Indonesian citizen died at Tungku Beach. While these stories are tragic, they do illustrate a fundamental need for lifeguards and drowning danger awareness. The fact is, too many lives are lost each year in the water.

Read the full story here.

Parents Begin Foundation to Honor Their Lost Son

Last year, April and Marvin Chang lost their son, Mitchell, in a terrible drowning incident at a swimming school. Swimming lessons are important, but accidents can happen at any time. The three-year-old boy died last February.

This year, the Changs are using their experience to educate others. They are now speaking out in honor of their son to raise awareness for others in the community. April words her concerns clearly:

“Don’t be afraid to ask those questions: Do the staff have enough training? What kind of training? How are they certified and through who? Make sure there is always a lifeguard. I think so often people who work for swim schools get to a point where they aren’t paying attention as much as they should. These are children’s lives and you should take that to your heart because of a mistake, and it is a lot to put on a person, but one mistake can end a life. It is a very serious job.”

Read the full story here.

For the rest of this month, let’s turn our attention away from drowning deaths. Instead, it’s time to shine a light on some close calls and heroic rescues!

Active Supervision Requires Your Full Attention

Children should never be left unattended. Drowning happens more quickly and quietly than most of us expect. Don’t leave them, even “just for a moment.” That’s especially true while your child is taking a bath! In this tale out of Kentucky, a one-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital after being found facedown in the bathtub. Fortunately, this little boy is going to be okay, but it is a scary reminder to always keep your children within arm’s reach. Bathtubs can be dangerous. It’s always important to beware of unlikely drowning hazards.

Read the full story here.

Heroic New Orleans Lifeguards Honored for Saving Drowning Boy

Lifeguards are important! Patrick Carroll, along with lifeguards Jaslyn Bright, Jack DeBen and Patrick Kelly, were recognized for their life-saving efforts during a ceremony on January 10 at the American Red Cross New Orleans office in Mid-City. The award is one of the highest given by the organization. It recognizes individuals who save or sustain a life by using skills learned in an American Red Cross Training course.

We thank these brave heroes for being there to rescue the young boy from a tragic fate!

Read the full story here.

Drowning is Silent; Fortunately This Toddler was Saved

The disturbing video at the following link goes to show just how quickly and silently drowning can happen. There were people around, the boy wasn’t alone, and yet he somehow slipped into the deep end of the pool unnoticed. We all need to learn how to recognize the signs that someone is drowning.

We cannot stress this, and having a designated water watcher, enough. And always keep your children within arm’s reach when you’re near the water. Thankfully, this story had a happy ending. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Read the full story here.

Lifeguards and CPR: A Winning Combination

Quick-thinking lifeguards at a California pool are being credited with saving a little boy’s life after he nearly drowned one Sunday afternoon. Thanks to their knowledge in CPR, lifeguards were able to pull the little boy from the pool and bring him back to consciousness. As we’ve said many times before, CPR is a vital life skill.

Read the full story here.