With summer approaching and children ready to play in the pool, Alachua County Fire Rescue would like to remind parents and caregivers to take precautions and remain alert when their kids are in and around the water.
Drowning is preventable, yet it is the leading cause of death in children one to four years old. Each year, 1,200 children drown, with 69% of all drownings happening during non-swim times. It is fast and silent, and proper prevention requires more than active supervision.
Fortunately, action and awareness can improve these numbers and keep everyone safe. Before the fun begins, teach children about pool and water safety. Those who have a pool should install a pool alarm and a fence that surrounds the pool. These layers of protection will restrict a child’s access, and lets parents know if someone is in the pool. Keep rescue equipment and a first aid kit nearby, and take a CPR course to be better prepared in an emergency.
Parents and guardians should never leave children unsupervised while they are in or near water and only use floatation devices that the U.S. Coast Guard approves.
“In order to make summer safe and enjoyable, let’s each do our part to protect our kids around the water,” says Alachua County Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Michael Coward.