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Report reveals pandemic could heighten drowning risks for children

“Drowning is not as it’s portrayed in TV and movies, it is not something as dramatic and loud and this is called the silent killer for a reason.”
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:08 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A new report released this week revealed that the pandemic could increase drowning risks for children, which is already the leading cause of death in children ages one to four.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission released a report Tuesday that shows fewer children took swimming lessons during the pandemic. At the same time, market research shows that home swimming pool sales were up 161 percent last year.

“We did see more of the kind of home pool incidents because people were at home more and around so we saw some some more of those,” East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Emergency Room Director Dr. Ryan Redman said. He worries that fewer swimming lessons could lead to more deaths.

“There was probably a big gap in that we don’t know exact numbers but, but that’s one of the things we’re pretty mindful of going into this season. We’re really encouraging parents as things start to loosen up, to remember that that’s really important for a child’s safety around water,” he said.

Dr. Redman warns that while nothing can completely eliminate the risk of drowning, protections like fences, alarms and consistent swimming lessons can lower the risk.

“Drowning is not as it’s portrayed in TV and movies, it is not something as dramatic and loud and this is called the silent killer for a reason,” said Redman.

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