Dear New Parents,
Do you know what the main reason why children drown? Many people don’t have enough knowledge about drowning and that is why I am writing to you. For the lives of future generations; to make sure that they stay as safe as possible.
Based on research, Drowning is a Public Health problem that parents need to take note of because innocent people are losing their lives and nearly drowning can have long term effects.
There have been hundreds of drownings in the country and more than 90% (3,536) of them have been categorized as unintentional (non-boating related) drownings (CDCP). Since not knowing how to swim has become the most common reason why people drown, it makes sense to state that at least 70% of the 3,536 people that drowned were not able to swim to safety. To add on, Colin’s Hope, an organization that formed after a four-year-old child drowned and has a water safety program, asserts that “In 2018 there were at least 91 fatal child drownings, up from 80 in 2017”(Colin’s Hope). If we consider this growth, around 100 children died just last year due to drowning. The amount of children that are having to go through this dreadful process completely is growing larger each year and we as a community need to work together to stop this. Everyone should know how to stay safe around a body of water and at this moment, water safety programs are a step into the direction of saving thousands of children/people who could one day become someone great. In addition to Colin Hope’s statement, Kate Eller, who was a regional director of public affairs and marketing operations for Advocate Health Care, dictates that “An average of 87 children under the age of 5 drown at home each year, and 80 percent of those deaths happen in a tub”(Eller). Children aren’t even safe from drowning at home, which means that if the children were taught how to float/swim in water, the sum of drownings in that age group will be diminished and there will be more hope for our world’s future.
Drowning doesn’t always cause death, some people are spared, but it does come with a cost. According to the Merck Manual, According to the Merck Manual, the act of drowning causes a person to lose any kind of way to breathe in oxygen and it can lead to damage to a person’s organs, specifically the lungs and brain (Richards). Furthermore, Eller adds that “Even if the accident does not turn out to be fatal, it can lead to brain damage, which can cause memory problems, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning”(Eller). If you don’t take the necessary precautions, your child is at a higher risk of losing all of their memories of you; they could transform into someone completely different. If they don’t learn how to swim, they could lose basic functioning and they won’t be able to have a normal childhood that I am sure you have imagined for them. Nearly drowning can change a person’s lives forever, which is why everyone should know how to handle themselves around water.
I designed a 15 question survey which was related to drowning. The point of this was to get as much information about the experiences that California citizens have had with drownings. There were 21 people in the California Community who responded. The data collected from the survey showed that at least 50% of them did not know that the time that it took for someone to drown. Thanks to the data, I also learned that 52% of the participants believe that CPR is of great importance when helping someone who has nearly drowned and that 38% of the respondents 100% believe that everyone should participate in a water safety program.
FIGURE 1: Count of seconds for an adult to drown
Only about half of the people who took the survey picked the correct answer (60 seconds), the next most picked answer was 30 seconds which is closer to the amount of seconds it takes for a child to learn than it is to the correct answer to this question. This shows that people don’t know how fast they have to respond/help when someone is drowning.
FIGURE 2: Child Drowns in __ Seconds
Only 5 of the respondents were able to correctly point out the amount of time that it takes for a child to drown. 23% is absolutely troublesome and it explains why so many children die in so little time. This suggests that people are unaware of the limited time they have to save a child’s life.
FIGURE 3: CPR helps someone who is unresponsive after nearly drowning?
. This shows that only 52% of the participants believe that CPR is of great importance when helping someone who has nearly drowned. The fact that only 3 of the 21 participants chose an answer that is less than neutral shows that many of them understand the importance of CPR and that there is a high chance that they are willing to learn how to conduct it in a water safety program.
Based on the fact that there are around 4 drownings per day and that 77% of the respondents don’t know how long it takes for a child to drown, it is an unmistakable fact that California’s citizen’s need to be educated on drowning in order to save future generations’ lives
Aim #1 – Virtual: Educate the California Community about Water Safety Programs, Drowning, and the Importance of Addressing it.
When someone is in the process of drowning, the body is in lack of oxygen, adults have roughly 60 seconds to be saved before they die and children only have about 20 (TheActiveTimes). My survey research showed that only about 50% of the respondents knew how long it took for an adult to drown and what was even more troublesome was that only 23% of them knew the amount of time that they have to save a child’s life. Due to the fact that so many innocent people are dying and that so many people have little to no knowledge about drowning, I will use social media to reach out to California’s citizens and deliver important facts about drowning that will help them understand why it is such a macro threat to them. In the state of California, 186 children drowned in the span of 3 years (2015-2017) (Reese), therefore, I will post facts about drowning and about water safety programs all around the world and the importance of the programs. My first step would be to post facts/statistics about drowning in the afternoons every day since there is a higher chance that people will be on social media around that time. Then I would make sure to add a post to the Instagram story around 12am since many people are staying up late during quarantine and are likely to go into the app when they get bored. I will also make sure that stories about people who have died due to drowning are posted at least once a week so that we can spread awareness of how much drownings truly impact the community; the post is also more likely to be sent around if it is about something that emotionally manipulates a person. This is an action that I could easily commit to since there is no cost to it and all I need is my cellphone to do it. Although it seems like an easy task, I do expect that it will be difficult to get followers and to get people to read the post since the community disregards how much of a menace drowning genuinely is.
Aim #2 – If Shelter in Place Ends: Healthcare Providers’ Week
This action will focus on getting more people in the community to learn how to conduct emergency procedures. In this case, it will directly target highschool students, but hopefully it will indirectly reach their family and friends outside of Life academy.
First, I plan to talk to Dr. Frank since she knows people in the hospitals and because she has arranged events like this before. The event would have the student concentrated on CPR alone, which means that a whole day will not be needed. I would much rather that the healthcare providers teach the students during one of their science classes so that the students don’t have to change their whole day’s schedule. Each grade will have a different day of the week where they will have healthcare providers give them a lesson on CPR and the importance of it. Something that I believe would preclude me from going forth with this plan is the schedules of the providers not allowing them to show up at the classes at the time that we need them to.
Aim #3 – If I had no Limitations: Mandatory Water Safety Programs
In order for a person to know how to help themselves or another person when drowning, they need to take part in a water safety program. I plan to make water safety programs mandatory by law. I will discuss the idea with the United States Congress and I will contact as many celebrities who have a vast group of followers and connections as possible in order to get the community to support my new law. According to American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief, and disaster preparedness education, “Each class is typically 30-45 minutes each. Our Learn-to-Swim Program includes basic water safety, what to do in the event of an emergency as well as stroke and swimming technique and development (ARC). Your children can learn how to swim and stay afloat and they will know how to interfere when/if anyone around them is ever having trouble in the water. Also, some of the most common causes of drowning are not being able to/knowing how to swim, panicking when in the water, not attending to children in the water, consuming alcohol before swimming, seizures, heart attacks, and suicides (Jordan, Herington and Rowley). Knowing these facts (that are taught in water safety programs) can one day help your child make better choices and help others make better choices in the future; this could save a person’s life. An impediment for this plan is the mindsets of people who don’t see drowning as a serious problem because it is not easy to change a person’s mind.
I will know that my actions are successful if I am able to get a plethora of followers and reposts and if the amount of people who go to a water program increases (I can make another survey after some time to get this data). I can also find out if my actions were successful if the amount of water safety programs increases. I plan to measure the success of my three actions by counting the amount of followers that I gain every month and how much attention(likes/comments/reposts) each post gets; the instagram account will contain both the quantitative and qualitative data. It will be the amount of followers that the account has/gets and the amount of attention that each of their posts gets because I will know how many new followers I have gained and also the quality(emotions shown/show of understanding) of the comments. I will also know if I am successful if I am able to get all of the healthcare providers that I need for the healthcare week.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to read over my proposal and I sincerely hope that you help me spread awareness using my Instagram account and by taking part in a Water Safety Program yourself. #WaterSafety #WaterSafetyProgram
American, Red Cross. “Swimming Lessons & Classes in Oakland, CA.” Red Cross, www.redcross.org/local/california/take-a-class/swimming-lessons-oakland-ca.
This article explains what American Red Cross instructors will teach the students how to swim and what to do in case of an emergency. They also claim that they plan to offer training for new swim coaches. They hope that their manuals and training resources make learning easy for everyone.
Colin, Hope. “Drowning Statistics.” Colin’s Hope, 2020, www.colinshope.org/water-safety-resources/drowning-statistics/.
This article talks about the amount of drownings that have happened in Texas over the past 4 years (2017-2020). It also references back to the article written by Centers for disease control and prevention in order to reiterate some of the statistics. They ended the article with a reminder to the reader that said that drowning is preventable.
Control and prevention, Centers for disease. “Injury Prevention & Control.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Apr. 2016, www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.htm.
The text asserts the deaths that have happened throughout the span of 9 years. One of the author’s statistics that was explained was that 1 out of 5 people who have died due to drowning were 14 years old or younger.
Eller, Kate. “Can You Drown in a Bathtub?” Health Enews, 12 Mar. 2018, www.ahchealthenews.com/2018/03/12/when-baths-kill/.
This article explains the causes of drownings that occur in bathtubs. The author clarifies that the adults that drown in a tub are usually cause by drugs or intended for suicide. She also talks about the dreadful side effects that nearly drowning can cause.
“It Takes Only 60 Seconds to Drown & Other Water Safety Facts.” The Active Times, 10 July 2018, www.theactivetimes.com/water/it-takes-only-60-seconds-drown-other-water-safety-facts.
The author of this article chooses to explain the long term effects of almost dying due to drowning. The article also contains the amount of deaths that have happened since 2005-2014. The text points out that if a person gasps underwater they will immediately drown and it continues to list other reasons why people would drown.
“Most Common Causes of Drowning Accidents.” Denver Personal Injury Attorney | Jordan, Herington & Rowley | Free Consultations, 12 Mar. 2020, www.jordanlaw.com/8-common-causes-of-drowning-or-near-drowning-acc/.
This article explains what some of the most common reasons people drown and the author goes into more detail about each reason. For example, people who consume alcohol are more likely to drown, since one of the effects of alcohol is dizziness and a person could easily fall in the water.
Reese, Phillip. “Fewer Children Drowning in California as Communities Tighten Their Building Codes.” Sacbee, The Sacramento Bee, 22 July 2019, www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article232976947.html.
This article explains how less people/children drowned as years went by and that in the 1990s, the pace of drownings decreased by a macro amount. The author chose to add stories about people who had to go through the experience of dying.
Richards, David, et al. “Drowning – Injuries and Poisoning.” Merck Manuals Consumer Version, Merck Manuals, 6AD, www.merckmanuals.com/home/injuries-and-poisoning/drowning/drowning.
This article explains who is at a higher risk of drowning based on certain risk factors (health conditions, imigration status, etc.).There is also an explanation about the fact that drowning is among the top 10 causes of accidental death around the world.