“I pretty much remember everything,” says 20-year-old Taylor Janssen about the July 2015 day that changed his life. The University of Michigan Ross School of Business student dove into the lake by his house after a volleyball, but a shallow spot in the water made for a much more complicated day.
Taylor’s friends pulled him out of the water, called his dad and they were on their way to the hospital, where U-M neurosurgeons worked to stabilize his cervical injury.
“I just went out for a day on the lake, and it changed my life,” Taylor says.
Taylor’s dad, Mark Janssen, now looks at the risks people take in a different way than he used to.
“It just takes one mistake to alter your life forever,” Mark says.
There’s nothing like a cool dip in the pool or lake on a hot summer day, but children and water can be a dangerous combination. In fact, drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death in Michigan for children ages 1 to 4 years old. You can have your water and your safety too, just take the proper precautions.
One of the most frequent drowning or near drowning scenarios we see at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital Emergency Department is what I call the diffusion effect — when several adults are in the area, but each thinks someone else is watching the children. In reality, no one is closely watching the children.
It is so important that an adult be responsible for watching children around water at all times. Download the Water Watcher card to help manage the task.
Spending time in and around the water is a great way to stay cool in the summer. Whether it’s just you and your child in the backyard, or a dozen splashing kids and their parents at the neighborhood pool – safety needs to be a priority.
Accidental drowning is the third leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 14 and under. Here are some basic ground rules and tips to encouraging safe water play with your family.
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