Karen Cohn and Bill Ramos: The pandemic has hurt drowning prevention efforts. But it’s not too late to act.

Amid the third summer of the pandemic, extensive and alarming evidence has surfaced indicating that families may be less prepared to keep their children safe in the water. The closing of many public pools at the onset of COVID-19 resulted in fewer opportunities for swimming lessons and the exacerbation of our nation’s lifeguard shortage.

During the pandemic, there has been exponential growth in sales of home pools and hot tubs, the setting where 87% of drowning fatalities for children younger than 5 occur. With limited or no access to a public aquatic facility with safeguards, more and more people are turning to home pools or lakes, ponds and ocean fronts, which often present conditions that are new and unfamiliar to caregivers…

Read more of Karen and Bill’s commentary in the Chicago Tribune.

August 2, 2022