Mario Vittone spoke at the NDPA symposium about our failure to "Move the needle" and reduce drownings. The following article has surfaced in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting:
I think that there are several parallels to the drowning problem in the United States.
I came from the fire service, my last 12 years I managed a Fire Prevention Bureau we had firefighters in our schools every year, they visited the fire house and we have a whole week dedicated to "Fire Safety" in October.
How many kids have died in school fires in the past 50 years? ZERO!! How many have drown?? DOZENS (hundreds?). Each year the fire service invests millions of dollars and thousands of hours keeping our kids safe from fire. What do we spend on water safety?

As tragic as the shooting was, more kids drown in pools than are killed by fire arms; a lot more.

Pools are closing, the Red Cross is "reorganizing" again (my chapter has cut it's staff (yet again): there is a single water safety person for the State of Michigan). Things are moving in the wrong direction. Will it take a tragedy like Sandy Hook to get the issue addressed?

We teach lifeguards to be proactive: time for us to practice what we preach.


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Great food for thought, Bob! Look forward to what others have to say on this!

A little off-topic, but I entirely disagree with Grossman’s contention (in the link you provide) that more guns and more armed citizens is the answer to preventing gun violence. The US has a ratio of 89 guns for every 100 people – easily the highest gun ownership rate in the world. If more people carrying guns is a deterrent when it comes to gun violence, it should follow that the US has low rates of gun crime. Except, of course, it has by far the highest rate of gun homicide in the industrialised world. In fact, significantly more people are killed with guns every year in the US than in every other industrialised country combined.

Also, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,042 children died from gunfire in America in 2007 alone – one child every three hours. Almost six times as many children (17,523) suffered non-fatal gun injuries. The Center for Disease Control has also found that since 1999, on average 815 children in the US have died each year because of drowning. So I’d strongly disagree that ‘a lot more’ kids drown each year than are killed by firearms.  

But, like I said, off topic and I certainly get and agree with your point. A significantly bigger investment is needed to move the needle on preventable drowning deaths.  


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