Experts urge vigilance to prevent child drownings over 4th of July weekend

July is the worst month for drownings in Minnesota and with a steamy holiday weekend ahead, U.S. experts are worried the Fourth of July will be more than just fun and games. 

Before the fireworks and in between barbecues, many Minnesotans will be spending the Fourth of July weekend in and around the water.

Montrel Brown, a dad, was keeping a close eye on his son and nephews at Bde Maka Ska Thursday. After losing a family member to drowning when he was a teen, he’s staying hyper-vigilant. 

"I’m not a swimmer so I make sure these guys they don’t go too far to where I can’t see them," said Brown. "I’m sitting right there constantly watching." 

Chief of Critical Care at Children’s Minnesota Dr. Anupam Kharbanda says, due to COVID-19 lockdowns, this year could be even worse. 

"A lot of families weren’t able to go to these places and keep up with their lessons. If either they didn’t start or they had a regression in their skill," said Kharbanda. 

On average, Children’s Minnesota sees 20 drowning cases come through their doors every year, about 15 percent of which don’t survive. All of those drownings, says Kharbanda, are preventable. 

"We’ve got to be really hyper focused on supervision, identifying one person, making sure that person refrains from alcohol," said Kharbanda.