There is wide-spread agreement on the “ideal” ways to keep kids safe in the water. Constant supervision. Gradual, positive and repetitive exposure to water and swimming over a long period of time to gain skill and confidence. Teach all kids to swim. Keep them away from water hazards. Ensure appropriate equipment.
The problem? “Ideal”. The world is not ideal.
There is no one right answer of course. Childhood drowning is an incredibly complex problem and it requires a complex global strategy. But more than anything it requires a heavy dose of pragmatism. We (that’s the royal ‘we’), each push our individual, often fragmented, solutions to the problem. And kids keep dying.
We need to be more like ants – one of the hardest working, most focused species on earth. Ants can carry up to 50 times their own weight. Working together they have literally moved mountains. Each ant’s personal focus is not enough – the colony would fail if they don’t harness their individual strengths towards one clear goal.
Let’s be ants. Our goal is ‘no more kids drown’. Now let’s go move that mountain.