In the best-selling book Freakenomics, authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner challenge “conventional wisdom” with statistics. In one example, Levitt and Dubner consider the parents of an eight year old girl, Molly. Molly’s parents prohibit her from visiting her friend Amy because Amy’s parents keep a gun at home. So instead, Molly spends time playing in the swimming pool at the home of her other friend, Imani.
Molly’s parents are pleased with themselves for making such a smart choice. According to “conventional wisdom” children should not play where guns are around. The authors point out that according to the data, what seems smart may not be. In any given year one child drowns for every 11,000 residential pools in the U.S. Read that again. 1 drowning for every 11k pools. That is a lot, roughly 550 children under age 10 per year!
By contrast, the likelihood of death by gun is a relatively tiny 1 in over on million. Molly is far more likely to die from an accident at Imani’s home than from gun play at Amy’s.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not an advertisement for guns. Instead, the purpose of this post is to alert parents of just how dangerous unsupervised swimming is, especially for young children.
Keep a cool head while it’s hot outside. Make sure your young child is properly supervised while swimming.