Yuma, Arizona - August is Drowning Impact Awareness Month. Last week we had another near drowning incident in our area. Quick action by a parent immediately starting CPR saved the life of a 14 month old (the 3rd parents CPR save this summer). Children 4 years old and younger are at greatest risk for drowning. There are a few basic steps to reduce this risk, we call them the ABCs of drowning prevention.
“A” is for Adult supervision. If children are around water, they need constant, responsible, undistracted, adult supervision. Designate a “Water Watcher” whose only responsibility is to watch the children (the more children, like at a pool party) the more watchers needed). If that person has to leave the area, someone else takes over or everyone leaves the pool area with them.
“B” is for Barrier fencing. Every pool should be enclosed by a barrier fence at least 4 feet high. It should have a self-closing, self-latching gate. Pool toys should not be left in the pool, they attract children, and furniture should not be near the exterior fence where it can be used to crawl over. Pool alarms are also added security (there are even alarms that can be attached to the child!).
“C” is for Classes. Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), learn how to perform CPR in the event that the unthinkable does happen. In addition, although we cannot “waterproof” our children, teach them to swim. First responders often hear “It was only a few seconds” or “I thought someone else was watching”.
Keeping children healthy and safe are the goals of Fire Departments and other prevention institutions in Arizona. “Drowning Impact Awareness Month” is one way to raise awareness and remind people that there is no substitute for constant, responsible, focused, (even relentless!) adult supervision of children around water. The consequences of failure are just too great…
For more information about fire and injury prevention classes we offer, contact the Yuma Fire Department Public Information Office at 373-4855