Water Safety 101: Drowning Prevention

July 30, 2018

It is that time of the year when the sun is out and the kids are ready to play outside and have fun in the water. I will share some important facts about keeping kids healthy while enjoying the pool.

Drowning is a leading cause of death in children, including babies and toddlers. As crazy as it sounds, children can drown even in 1 inch of water. Therefore, we should all be aware of some water safety rules. Responsible adult supervision is the key to prevent it! There should be a designated adult assigned to watch over the children when they are playing in the water. It should be an adult that knows how to swim and preferably who knows CPR.

Barrier Protection

If you own a pool, it should be surrounded by a fence that prevents access to the pool from the house. It is recommended that the fence is at least 4 feet tall and that it protects all four corners of the pool. It should have a gate that is self-latching, and self-closing and that is accessed from the inside of the pool area. Consider alarms on the gate or on the door that leads to the pool to alert when someone has accessed the pool area. For more protection, install window or door guards on the windows and doors that face the pool.

Safety gear

If you own a pool, get a shepherd’s hook. It is a long pole with a hook at the end, get one that isfiberglass or any other material that does not transfer electricity. Learn CPR and keep US Coast Guard approved equipment at poolside, like life jackets and life preservers. Keep a portable phone near the pool in case of an emergency, so that you can reach 9-1-1.

In Case of an Emergency

Get the child out of the water immediately and check if he or she is breathing. Start CPR if no signs of breathing. Ask someone to call 9-1-1. Continue rescue breathing and CPR until child is breathing on their own.

Touch Supervision

Children under age 5 should be within an arm’s length from an adult, this is called touch supervision. Do not leave them alone or in the care of another child while they are in or close to any body of water, this includes bathtubs and wading pools. Adults should not be distracted on the phone or any other activities while supervising the kids. Children with intellectual disabilities and with seizures are at increased risk of drowning. Keep this in mind when they are close to the water. Avoid “floaties” since they are not proven to prevent drowning and use only approved life jackets. Do not assume that a child cannot drown because they have received swimming lessons. They should still be supervised.

Keep your eyes open, dear parents, and enjoy a beautiful and safe summer with your loved ones!

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