Don’t Put a Toe in the Water Without Thinking About Safety!
By Office of Communication
Posted on July 05, 2012, July 05, 2012

Whether you are spending your Fourth of July in the swimming pool or on the lake (or just washing watermelon juice out of sticky toddler hair in the bathroom), keep yourself and your kids safe around water over the holiday and this summer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, about ten people in the USA die from unintentional drowning every day. Of those ten, two will be children aged 14 or younger. Read over the tips below to refresh your knowledge on how you can prevent drowning accidents:

  1. Drowning doesn't look like drowning. Contrary to what we see on television, people who are drowning cannot call or wave for help, and there is very little splashing. Drowning happens quickly and quietly; if someone goes quiet on the water, ask them if they are okay. If they cannot respond, you may have less than thirty seconds to get to them. Mario Vittone with the U.S. Coast Guard offers this advice: "Parents-children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why. "
  2. Supervise children when in or around water. A responsible adult should be designated to watch children playing in or around water. Because drowning happens quickly or quietly, this person should not be involved in any other distracting activities (so put away the cell phone or the latest mystery novel!). Also, never leave young children unattended in the bath for even a moment.
  3. Learn to swim. Arlington offers swim classes for all ages. Learn more information on the Parks and Recreation Aquatics page.
  4. Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Seconds count-in the time it takes for paramedics to show up in an emergency, your CPR skills could save a life.
  5. Get your pool area in order. Install a four-sided pool fence with self closing and self locking gates around your swimming pool and remove toys and floats from the pool area after use so that they won't be tempting to children when no one is around. And keep a phone near your pool just in case you need to call 911.
  6. Wear a life jacket. When out and about in natural waters, always wear a life jacket. 60% of drowning deaths in natural waters could have been prevented if the victim had been wearing a life jacket.

For more tips on how you can stay safe on the water this summer, visit the website of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.

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