Sen. Blumenthal, Stew Leonard’s urge steps to prevent accidental drownings


WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Drowning is an important conversation that could impact any family at any moment.

This is the time of year when a lot of kids are swimming to stay cool and have fun. But it only takes a second for something tragic to happen.

In fact, drowning is the number one cause of accidental death in children between the ages of one and four. Drowning is quick and silent. People who are nearby may not even realize it’s happening until it’s too late.

In the movies we often see people flailing their arms and screaming for help, but that’s not how it happens in real life.

Senator Richard Blumenthal held a news conference about this Friday to bring awareness. He was at Eisenhower Pool and Park in West Hartford joined by Kim and Stew Leonard.

They know about this topic all too well. Their nearly 2-year-old son “Stewie” drown in 1989.

“I assumed Stew was watching our son and he thought I was watching our son and we never said to each other ‘you got him’ and that would be my most important message to parents,” said Kim Leonard.

“Just alert all the moms and dads, grandparents, aunts, uncles, everybody out there just watch those kids when they are around the water,” said Stew Leonard.

They are co-founders of the “Stew Leonard The Third Water Safety Foundation.” It helps promote water safety, including free or low cost swim lessons and lifeguard training.

Parents are reminded to make sure you or someone else has eyes on your child whenever they are in the water. Learn CPR if you can and of course make sure your children learn how to swim. It can save their life.

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