For Immediate Release: July 1, 2019

Contact: Ben Powell at 919-807-6008

Safe Kids North Carolina urges caregivers to know the warning signs of drowning this July 4th holiday

RALEIGH -- As the July 4th holiday approaches, Insurance Commissioner and Safe Kids N.C. Chair Mike Causey reminds parents and caregivers about the importance of water safety to reduce child drownings in pools and all bodies of open water.

"This Fourth of July, many families will be drawn to activities near water," said Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, chair of Safe Kids North Carolina. "I want parents and caregivers to take steps to avoid any potential tragedies because of their lack of education as to what a drowning person looks like. "

According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1-14. It is the leading cause of unintentional death in ages 1 to 4.

Most people believe a drowning person involves flailing arms or frantic calls for help, but that scene is often incorrect. Drowning can happen quietly when a helpless person is unable to take in a breath or call for help. The CDC estimates 10 percent of parents watch their children drown because they don't know what's happening. Rescuers may have as few as 20 seconds to save a person from drowning.

Safe Kids Worldwide and Nationwide's Make Safe Happen program have released a new report highlighting the dangers of childhood drowning, with a specific focus on incidents that occur in lakes, rivers, oceans, and other types of open water.

Key findings of the research include:

Between 2015 and 2016, there was a 14 percent increase in drownings. The 1,002 drownings in 2016 (latest data available) was the highest number in five years. Most of those drownings occurred in lakes, rivers, oceans, and other types of open water.

Safe Kids North Carolina reminds parents and caregivers to take the following precautions around pools and open water: