Heading to the pool with your kids? It might be best to leave your phone at home, suggests the German Lifeguard Association.
After more than 300 people drowned this year alone in Germany, the organization, which houses 40,000 volunteer lifeguards across Germany’s lakes and beaches, are warning parents to keep their eyes on their kids and less on their phones. They say phone distraction is likely a huge reason for the uptick in drownings.
“Too few parents and grandparents are heeding the advice: when your children and grandchildren are in the water, put your smartphone away,” said Achim Wiese, a spokesman for the German Lifeguard Association.
Drowning can happen at the drop of a hat
Ever hear the phrase, “I turned my back for a second and my kid got into mischief”? Well, this applies here too, but it’s more serious. Drowning can happen super fast, without much warning, and there’s no time to be distracted while you’re checking even just one Instagram post.
“I don’t think parents understand how quickly and quietly drowning occurs,” said Sharon Evans, an outreach coordinator for Cook Children’s hospital. “There is no thrashing, no yelling for help. The drowning child is just trying to push down on the water to get their head above the surface to gasp a breath of air.”
Drowning is a problem in America as well, with about 1,000 children dying every year from unintentional drowning, many occurring at a home pool. Even more are hospitalized after being pulled from the water too late. Phone distraction could be to blame here as well.
Put your phone away whenever you’re at a body of water with your kids
Bottom line: “Families should not be busy with their smart devices while children are swimming,” Abu Dhabi Police said in a statement.
So next time you’re at a beach or pool, it’s best to leave your phone at home or tucked away. The text or Snapchat can wait—keep an eye on your kiddos!
Do you check your phone when your kids are swimming? What are your thoughts on these drowning rates?