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Approximately 5,100 pool or spa-related injuries occur each year involving children younger than 15. An average of 390 children drown each year in the United States, most younger than 5. "Minority populations between the ages of 5 and 14 are three times more likely to drown than white children in the same age range.
" The same report found that 70 percent of African-American children and 60 percent of Hispanic children do not know how to swim. Forty percent of white children do not know how to swim.
The term “DrownProofing” came from an old Navy survival swimming program. More aptly, It would be named water safety instruction.
The program would teach safety both in and near the water; including personal safety skills to help get out of danger, the use of personal flotation devices, non-swimming rescues and cold water survival.
Most people have a small amount of positive buoyancy that will enable them to float, but not enough to keep all of the head out of water. By floating in an upright attitude, with the face submerged and only lifting the mouth and nose above the surface when it is necessary to take a breath, it is possible to survive indefinitely, with minimal expenditure of energy.
Drownproofing is easy to learn. A couple of sessions in the pool is usually all the training that is needed. Having mastered the basic technique, it is easy to learn to move about and make steady, effortless progress through the water.
Is Everyone a Natural Floater?
No, a small proportion of people have negative buoyancy. As a general rule, women are more buoyant than men and we all tend to become more buoyant as we get older. Drownproofing doesn't fit with the conventional lifesaving and swimming establishment. It isn't altruistic - you can only save yourself and it isn't a sport that can win medals. It is difficult to convince people that staying afloat is easy; until they have tried it for themselves and have sunk, will they see the importance of why it is actually life-saving.