JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Child drownings are on track to reach a 10-year high in the state of Florida. It remains the leading cause of death for small children in the state.
The Florida Department of Children and Families reports so far this year, 63 children have drowned, which is on track to meet the record set in 2018, which was 88.
Most drownings in July have been in the Tampa Bay area. Five children have died there in just two weeks. The most recent happened over the weekend at a birthday party.
There have also been several drownings in Duval County. One of the most recent happened at a retention pond where a little girl died just last month. A few weeks earlier, a boy around the same age was found dead in another retention pond.
Another child nearly drowned in Mandarin last week. Thankfully, that child’s life was saved after being rescued and resuscitated just at the right time. But sadly, too many of these incidents end in tragedy.
In May, News4Jax spoke with Safe Kids Northeast Florida, which stressed the many misconceptions about a child drowning.
One of the main misconceptions is that parents hear their children struggling or splashing. The reality is drowning is a silent killer.
Another misconception is that if an adult is nearby at the time, drowning cannot happen. In many drowning cases, a gathering where several adults are just feet away is taking place.
With so much going on, adults may unintentionally become distracted and not realize it until it’s too late.
Safe Kids Northeast Florida always reminds parents to keep an eye on their children at all times, any time water is involved.
It also recommends a designated water watcher at gatherings where children are swimming.