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Be aware of water safety, Mathews Social Services advises

With summer on the way, Mathews Social Services wants to remind parents to be extra cautious when taking their young children around boats, docks and beaches.

Family Services Supervisor Lisa Burns-Brown said that 65 percent of Mathews County is surrounded by water, and people who are vacationing or grandparents who are watching their grandchildren might need a reminder that it can take as little as 20 seconds for a child to drown.

“Sometimes people coming here don’t have experience around docks or beaches or boats,” she said. “We want to make sure children are safe.”

Burns-Brown pointed out that child deaths by drowning in Virginia increased significantly from 2017, when there were two such drownings in the state, to 2018, when 15 children drowned statewide each year. There were also 15 drownings in 2019, and 13 in 2020. In Virginia, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for small children after motor vehicle accidents, she said.

After the accidental dro...

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