National Drowning Prevention Alliance Responds To “Parenting Water Safety Hack” Tik Tok Video That Puts Children At Greater Risk Of Drowning
(Tustin, CA – May 17, 2023) – A video gone viral on Tik Tok caught the attention of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA), which is sending a cautionary message to parents.
In the video, which is presented as a “Parenting Hack,” a mom suggests placing a playpen in a body of water as a way for both parent and child to enjoy the deep end of a lake or pool, “without having to worry about our little ones.” After being flagged by Tik Tok and many users, the video was removed, however not before having gone viral with several hundred thousand views and shares.
As many in the U.S. prepare to enjoy the busiest water recreation season of the year, and with child drowning rates at historic highs, NDPA is raising a red flag to parents to ignore this irresponsible and dangerous advice.
Said Adam Katchmarchi, Ph.D., Executive Director, NDPA, “We implore all parents to disregard this message, and not put playpens in any body of water. This is not a recommended water safety measure and could put a child at an increased risk of drowning.”
To keep a child safe from drowning, NDPA recommends adhering to the Five Layers of Protection. Added Katchmarchi, “Drowning is fast and silent and can happen in as little as 30 seconds with no sound. Backyard pools, ponds, canals, lakes, rivers, and other manmade and natural water features that surround homes can be dangerous if the five layers of protection are not in place.”
Developed by NDPA with input from pediatricians, epidemiologists, and aquatics education professionals based on best practices in drowning prevention, the Five Layers of Protection to help prevent child drowning include barriers and alarms, supervision, water competency, use of lifejackets and other approved floatation devices, and emergency preparedness. No one practice should ever be used in isolation. To learn more about how to prevent drowning, visit NDPA.org/Layers.
The CDC states that drowning is the single leading cause of death among children ages 1-4, and the second leading cause of injury-related death for children up to age 14. According to reports from cities and towns across the U.S., childhood drowning rates have been steadily on the rise since 2019. In 2021, the number of child fatalities due to drowning was equal to as many as 11 school buses of children or almost 18 children per week. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that for every (one) fatal child drowning, another seven receive emergency department care for a non-fatal drowning.
About the National Drowning Prevention Alliance The mission of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance is “Elevating awareness to educate, advocate, innovate, and equip to prevent drowning.” NDPA seeks to reduce the incidence of drowning by creating a united alliance to address the single leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 4. To learn more, visit ndpa.org.
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