By Dejan Simurdic, Franchise Owner of British Swim School East Valley (printed in the latest Apache Junction Independent)
At British Swim School of East Valley, we partner with Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona and we strongly recommend and teach our students and families the same safety measures as they do:
- Child drownings are a top cause of preventable death for children. Most drownings involve children between ages 2 and 5, and occur in a backyard pool. Drownings are lightning fast and silent.
- The most important things you do to stop a drowning is to “think safe” when around water and practice the ABC’s of water safety. It’s really pretty simple.
A – Adult supervision
A sober adult must always be with children around water. The adult must watch swimmers with their eyes and not be doing anything else. They shouldn’t be reading, talking on the phone or doing chores like yard work or washing the car.
B – Barrier
A barrier is something that keeps you away from danger. A few examples of barriers around water are a fence around a pool with a self-closing self-latching gate, a closed lid on a toilet or a closed door leading to the bathroom. A pool fence with a broken gate is not a barrier. An open bathroom door is not a barrier because a small child could get into the full bathtub.
C – Classes and Coast Guard approved lifejackets
Anyone who does not know how to swim must wear a Coast Guard approved lifejacket. Floaties are toys and do not count as a life vest. Everyone should take swimming lessons to learn how to swim. Older kids and adults should take cardiopulmonary resuscitation classes so they know what to do in case of an emergency.
You can help prevent a drowning by thinking safe around water — have an adult water watcher, have a barrier around water, wear a Coast Guard approved life vest and take classes.
- Do not allow children to play in or around the pool area.
- Mount life saving devices near the pool.
- Keep tables, chairs and ladders away from pool fences.
- Check placement of doggie doors for direct access to pool area.
- Post your local emergency number on the phone. Think about installing a phone near the pool area.
If you find a child in any source of water:
- Yell for help and pull the child out of the water.
- Call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately.
- Begin CPR if you are trained.
- If you are not trained to administer CPR, follow the instructions from the 9-1-1 operator until help arrives.
Anywhere there is water there is risk of a water-related accident or drowning incident, especially for children. All water safety precautions plays a role in protecting children whenever they are in and around water, and learning survival swimming skills is the last layer of defense in the unexpected event of an emergency.