May is Water Safety Awareness Month

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May is National Water Safety Month and with warmer weather arriving, officials in Ventura County are working to prevent accidental drownings for people of all ages, but especially children.

Death and injury from drowning happen every day in pools; natural bodies of water; toilets; bathtubs; and even buckets.

Ten people drown every day for a total of 3,400 each year. It’s a leading cause of accidental death among children of all ages and the single leading cause of injury-related death among children ages one to four. 

Ventura County Fire Department’s (VCFD) very own Firefighter Robby and Station 53 crew teamed up with Ventura County Health Care Agency’s EMS Medical Director, Dr. Dan Shepherd to create a fun, informational video reminding everyone on the ways to stay safe while in the water.

Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 – 4, and the number two cause for children ages 5 – 9. Nearly 800 children drown every year in the U.S., with two-thirds of drownings happening between May and August, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.

Many drowning deaths occur in lakes, rivers, oceans, ponds, and other open water.

As temperatures warm, VCFD encourages residents who visit outdoor spaces and bodies of water such as pools and beaches to follow guidelines and maintain all social distancing requirements in support of the Ventura County Health Officer’s “Stay Well at Home Order” issued by County of Ventura Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin.

Stop Drowning Now offers best practices when swimming and for all water activities.

The key to preventing these tragedies is education and knowledge. Instill a culture of water safety by following these best practices.