Louisiana Department of Health says number of people drowning is on the rise

MONROE, La. (KNOE) – The Louisiana Department of Health says child and infant drownings are on the rise as summer temperatures continue to climb and water activities return and families need Know the safety tips.

According to the LDH, more than 70% of children are unsupervised at swimming pools, leading to deaths. They urge families to teach their children about water safety and swimming.

“We’ve had the youngster who drowned here and three drownings in New Orleans, so we want to talk about that before Memorial Day when we normally start talking about water safety,” said Martha Whyte, regional medical director for LDH for public health.

She said 2020 was the deadliest year for drownings in state history. Recent studies show that over 90% of children cannot swim, and this is the leading cause of death.

In West Monroe, the wellness center offers swimming lessons to help prevent child and infant drownings.

“Teaching them about pool safety and stroke mechanics and water safety and what to do if you are around the pool if someone is in the pool is key,” said said Krystal Farnell. “You know we want to teach them that if a friend is in the pool, we don’t jump in to save them. We find an adult.

She said they offer two-week lessons for kids for $100 and private lessons for everyone for $35 per session. She said you don’t have to be a member of the wellness center to take the classes.

“Another thing we have is a refresher course in swimming. So it’s Memorial Day week, and it’s just for the kids who have had swimming lessons before, but are just kinda looking forward to getting back in the water,” Farnell said.

Whyte recommended adults take someone with them when swimming or fishing.

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