May is National Drowning Prevention Month

National Drowning Prevention Month

Did you know that May is National Drowning Prevention Month?  I was alarmed and saddened when I read that Florida has the highest number of unintentional drownings of children between the ages of 1 and 4, in all of the United States.  Water is all around us (quite literally) – so many backyards and communities have swimming pools; canals and lakes around every corner; and don’t forget the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico!  You’d think that people would be more cognizant of this and prepare their children.

Swimmer Baby Otter Swim School

There were 23 drowning fatalities from January 1 – April 15 of this year – in Florida ALONE.  It’s time to teach our kids how to save themselves should they fall into a body of water and not know how to swim.


Aside from teaching your children to swim, you should familiarize yourself with the barriers of protection needed to prevent any accidental drownings.

  • Be sure to have a pool fence installed and make sure it is closed at all times.
  • Remove all toys from the pool once you are done swimming.  Toys are like a magnet to little kids.
  • Place alarms on your doors and windows, especially the ones leading out to the pool.
  • If you cannot find your child, look in the pool FIRST.
  • Keep you pool water level high.  If they happen to fall in, it will be easier for them to reach out to the side of the pool if the water level is high.
  • Be mindful of chairs and benches – anything that your child can scoot over to the pool fence, climb on, and go over the fence to get to the water.
  • Keep your eyes on the children at all times.  Put the phone down and be present with your little ones.


I met the founders of Baby Otter Swim School after my boys had learned to swim, but am so thankful and appreciative of the service they provide for parents of non-swimming children.  In 5 days, their certified instructors will teach your child how to turn, kick, and reach, or TKR as coined by the school, saving themselves from drowning.  They come to your home or community pool – wherever your child is most comfortable and will be doing most of their swimming.

Andre “The Hawk” Dawson was an adult learner with Baby Otter Swim School, and has since lent his name to cause.

National Drowning Prevention Month


If your child doesn’t know how to swim, or know of a child that doesn’t swim, the best thing you could do is inform them of the terrible statistics I spoke about above.  If you live in South Florida, I highly recommend checking out Baby Otter Swim School – the passion that the founders and each of their teachers possess is untouchable.  If you live outside of their service area, there are many other schools, but please be sure to check their credentials and certifications.

Here’s the latest news segment with Mindy and Marlene, founders of Baby Otter Swim School:

National Drowning Prevention Month

Let’s work together to help prevent these unintentional drownings from ever occurring!


  1. Drowning is one of the biggest problems where I live. They just had a child last week drown. For me I always had my son in the water in swimming lessons because I did not want to have to worry. Always watch your children around water but also give them swimming lessons.
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  2. My kids are both self taught swimmers. I can’t swim, but somehow they both knew exactly what to do when they jumped into the deep end the first time.

  3. My kids all took swim lessons from a young age. It’s so important that they know how to swim. It is too easy for little ones to drown without anyone knowing.

  4. Drowning is so scary. It is so important to be safe and to teach kids their water safety too!

  5. This is an important reminder about the dangers of unsupervised kids at the pool or beach. It’s so important to be within an arm’s reacch until the kids are old enough to swim independently.

    • Agreed, Jenn! Even when they know how to swim independently it is super important for them to know what to do in an off situation!

  6. It is very important to teach children proper pool and water safety. It is also important to make sure that children learn to swim and know how to handle themselves if they get in distress. Drowning only takes seconds to happen.

  7. I really need to put my younger daughter in a swim school like this! We have a pool and it makes me so nervous she can’t swim yet!

    • Debra, if you aren’t local to South Florida, you can research swim schools online or maybe ask her school or pediatrician if they can recommend one.

  8. It’s super important to children to learn how to swim to prevent drowning. You can prevent your kid from going near water alone all you want but you just never know when something might happen that causes you to lose track of your kid for a few seconds.

  9. All my kids are strong swimmers. I noticed that they were not afraid of the water so soon as their little bodies were strong enough, we signed them up for swim lessons. It is better for them to learn survival skills early in life.

  10. It is best to have kids take swim lessons at an early age, especially if we have a backyard pool. Drowning can be prevented if kids know how to swim. I will enroll my grandchildren in swim class this summer.

  11. One of my son’s schoolmates family members drowned last weekend because no one was keeping an eye on the toddler around a pool. You can never be too cautious around water when it comes to kids. Even if a child can swim there should still be parental supervision. Great tips that people really need to keep in mind!

    • I am so sorry to hear about your son’s schoolmate’s family member. My kids always tell me that I don’t have to stay outside but I DO!


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