In the water, a disturbance of a few seconds can cost a life. In Brazil, every three days, a child drowns at home. The main victims (59%) are between the ages of 1 and 4, which makes drowning the second leading cause of death in this age group. At least 45% of deaths occur in summer. The data is from the Brazilian Society of Marine Rescue (Sobrasa-DataSus).
Brazil is the second country in the world for having about 3.8 million swimming pools installed. The industry transfers 12 billion BRL per year and grew 18.7%, on average, between 2020 and 2021, during the pandemic. Data is from the National Association of Swimming Pool Companies and Professionals (ANAP). Having a swimming pool at home is the dream of Brazilians, but it is important to take safety precautions to prevent the worst from happening. Two-year-old Susan Delgado entered the statistics on April 14, 2017, by drowning in the pool of the family home in Orlando, Florida, USA.
Sinking is quick and silent. According to musician and businessman Alex Delgado, in a split second the daughter left the room without being seen. The father was not at home at the time of the accident. The mother came to look for him in the house where he was hiding even in the rooms, but the child was found in the pool. Susan was saved, but died 14 hours later in hospital. To prevent other families from experiencing the same pain, Alex created the Susan Forever non-profit social project to combat child drowning.
The goal is to alert other families about the importance of adopting all safety rules to avoid drowning in the home. In his YT channel, among other things, the father insists on the importance of surrounding the pool with a grid, a gate, as well as installing cameras and sensors capable of detecting the presence of children.
Working to combat child drowning, Alex realized that the death toll of drowning children could be much higher. In most cases, drowning appears on the death certificate as a “domestic accident” or in Susan’s case as “hypoxia,” which is a lack of enough oxygen in the tissues to maintain bodily functions.
In the home, where the Government cannot intervene, it is up to the family to take care to ensure the safety of the children. In addition to the pool, drowning can occur in buckets, basins, tanks and any other type of container with water. Two inches of water in the tub is enough for a child to drown if he falls on his face and is not rescued immediately. Swimming lessons from the age of six months and a first aid course are measures that help reduce accidents in the water. With tips like these, repeated thousands of times if necessary, Alex hopes to reach as many families as possible and help reduce child drowning deaths.
Susan Delgado Law
Devastated by the loss of his daughter, Alex spends most of his time trying to save another family from the same tragedy. “I cannot allow Susan’s death to be in vain. Drowning can be avoided. That’s what I want people to understand and pay attention to.” One of the ongoing measures, for his plan, is PL 1,944/2022, pending in the Senate, in honor of Susan Delgado. The project adds specific measures to prevent children from drowning in swimming pools, given the high rate of death and serious consequences caused by drowning. The bill provides for the creation of a national campaign to prevent child drowning and establish April 14 as the National Day Against Child Drowning.
10 rules to fight child drowning
1 – Supervising children in the water. They should be close at hand
2 – Make it difficult for children to access water through gates, rails, cameras, sensors and alarms
3 – Forget your cell phone when the kids are in the water. Being distracted by these devices increased the number of children drowning by about 40%.
4 – Learning to swim prevents the risk of drowning by 80%. Put the baby in swimming from the age of six months
5 – Round and inflatable hand floats are not safe. Prefer wearable, non-inflatable closures
6 – Immediately pass the anti-suction tube. Some models are among the main reasons for drowning in swimming pools and baths, in order to absorb the hair of the victims.
7 – Never take out the responsibility of your children in the water. If you need it, entrust it to a person who is fully responsible, attentive and oriented towards this. Do not let a child take care of another
8 – Provide safety equipment (buoys and noodles) for the child in the water. They help prevent accidents, but are not a substitute for close supervision by parents or guardians.
9 – Life has no value. If you have a swimming pool at home, all responsible adults in the property must take a first aid course
10 – Empty bathtub, bucket, tub and any container with water. Cover wells, toilet lids and be very careful with holes. A child can drown in just three inches of water
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