18 Mar Water safety expert: ‘Drowning doesn’t just happen’
Water safety expert: 'Drowning doesn't just happen'
By Jacque Wilson, CNN
(CNN) -- As adults we're told time and again to keep a close eye on young children around water. Most kids who drown are under the age of 4 -- toddlers who accidentally fall into water too deep.
They can drown in minutes in less than 2 inches of water.
But the recent death of a 13-year-old at a pool in Florida has experts concerned about water safety for pre-teens and adolescents.
Anthony Johnson had been playing in a pool at Disney's Pop Century Resort on Sunday. Relatives told CNN affiliate WFTV that Anthony was jumping in and out with friends when they noticed him missing, and pulled him out of the water within minutes.
The boy died Tuesday morning, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Police are still investigating his death.
Ten people die every day from unintentional drowning in the United States, making it the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 20% are under the age of 14. Nearly 80% are male.
"The first thing to remember is that drowning doesn't just happen," says Alison Osinski, water safety expert and president of Aquatic Consulting Services. "Something always precipitates drowning."
Only about 35% of Americans know how to swim, and only 2% to 7% swim well, Osinski says. Teens are particularly susceptible to peer pressure and often go past their limits. Exhaustion or disorientation under water could cause a weak swimmer to panic.