Should never leave children alone in or near the water.
Should install fences or other appropriate barriers around household pools.
Avoid distractions when supervising children in and around the water.
If a child goes missing always check the water first.
Taking steps to prevent drowning at home is pretty straightforward, but what about public swimming pools and other open bodies of water? Children all develop at different rates and not every child is ready to take swim lessons at the same age. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most children are ready for swim lessons by the age of four. The City of Winters offers private and group swim lessons for both adults and children at the Bobbie Greenwood Community Swim Center, the first session beginning the first week of June. Learning to swim should be a priority for everyone. It is an important life skill that can reduce the chance of drowning by 88 percent. Remember, swim lessons don’t guarantee your child’s safety. Even strong swimmers should never swim alone. When taking trips to public pools, lakes and beaches designate a responsible adult to set up near the water and supervise children who are in or near the water, younger children should always be within arm’s reach of an adult and be wearing a Coast Guard approved life jacket at all times, be aware of rip currents and fast moving water, and ocean swimming should only be permitted if there is a trained lifeguard on duty. Lifeguards are not only extremely strong swimmers, but they are also trained to perform emergency rescue procedures and CPR. Lifeguards provide a sense of safety and security when enjoying a day at the pool, lake or other area of open water—but what happens when a lifeguard isn’t around? Debbie Dickie, a certified CPR instructor, explained that the general public shouldn’t be afraid of learning CPR. Parents, care providers and community members shouldn’t need to rely solely on lifeguards to save a child’s life. If a child falls into the water, and becomes unconscious, CPR will play a huge part in giving the child a chance of surviving. It is imperative that everyone knows at least the basics of CPR because only 46 percent of people are actually trained to save a life. Drowning is a real risk for children and that is why it is so important to make swimming lessons and water safety a priority for your family this summer. Playing in the pool or at the lake and beach is so much fun and great exercise. Knowing and implementing these water safety practices will ensure an enjoyable day in the sun, and don’t forget the sunscreen.]]>