Summer safety: staying safe around the pool

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Doctors have said drowning is the leading injury related cause of death for children between one and four years.

You may know some tips about water safety, but there are others you may not be aware of.

SUPERVISION IS MOST IMPORTANT

Many children love the water: so much so, they may dart off for a swimming pool or a body of water before you even know it.

Avery Fick is President of Complete Safety Works in Mobile, which teaches water safety training.

She said, “Most people who drown never intended to go swimming.”

When asked what’s the first thing people should know regarding children and water safety, Fick said, “The very first and most important is that they have to be supervised.”

PROPER SECURITY

Proper security around swimming pools is important, too.

Stephen Fick is Operations Manager with Complete Safety Works.

He said, “Make sure pool facilities, like any other dangerous activity, are controlled. You want to have gates on things. You want to have the doors locked. You want to always go out there with the child if they’re swimming.”

POOL PARTY SAFETY

And, during this time of year, pool parties are very popular.

Dr. Jason Richerson is the Director of the Evaluation Center at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital.

He said, “The concept of a designated watcher, someone who’s not drinking, not drinking alcohol, to actually watch the children and be responsible for their safety is important.”

PROPER BUOYANCY

Water safety instructors also say know the correct uses of toys like water wings.

Stephen Fick said, “They don’t really teach proper buoyancy. The problem with them is that they tend to lift the child’s face out of the water, and swimming with your faced out of the water is actually not a great way to learn to swim.”

And Avery Fick said a good age for children to start learning to swim is three and a half to four years old.

REMINDERS

Here are some things to think about:

—children can start swim lessons as soon as four
—teach children to never go near or in the water without an adult present
—children should never swim alone
—don’t get a false sense of security
—those arm floats are not a sure way to prevent drownings
—the most important is to always be on alert

Also, if a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.

Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.

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