My son turned two last weekend to much fanfare. As we celebrated his young life, I knew in the back of my mind he is now among the most imperiled children in our nation.
Drowning is one of the leading killers of children in the U.S. But there is a tragic spike in these incidents at the age of two – when children’s mobility and adventurousness far outpace their wisdom. What’s more, young boys are nearly twice as likely to drown as girls.
When you look at the nation-wide statistics, it draws a pretty clear profile of the children who are drowning the most: a Caucasian, two-year-old boy from a southern state who lives in the city and has access to swimming pools.
That’s my son to a T.
It’ll be another three years before he leaves the high-risk pool (the drowning numbers fall off precipitously after age 5). I plan to be on edge until then.
While he’s young we’ll do everything we can to protect him from his naivety. He’ll take consistent swim lessons to increase his skill. We’ll be right there next to him when he’s around bodies of water. And we’ll put as many barriers around pools as we can.
This is the best chance we have at keeping our son from becoming a statistic.