Summer is fast approaching and in Texas that means many of us will be spending countless hours in the water trying to get relief from the sweltering Texas heat. While enjoying themselves in the water each year thousands of individuals accidentally drown. Therefore we must remind ourselves the importance of water safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website many different factors can contribute to downing deaths. Such factors include lack of barriers and supervision, alcohol consumption, seizure disorders and age. Statistics show that children are among those most at risk of accidental drowning.
The CDC suggests some ways that may help prevent drowning tragedies.
- Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around water. Adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, or mowing the lawn) while supervising children.
- Always swim with a buddy. Select swimming sites that have lifeguards whenever possible.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.
- Learn to swim. Be aware that the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend swimming classes as the primary means of drowning prevention for children younger than 4. Constant, careful supervision and barriers such as pool fencing are necessary even when children have completed swimming classes.
- Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In the time it might take for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could make a difference in someone’s life. CPR performed by bystanders has been shown to improve outcomes in drowning victims.
- Do not use air-filled or foam toys, such as “water wings”, “noodles”, or inner-tubes, in place of life jackets (personal flotation devices). These toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
If you have a swimming pool at home:
- Install a four-sided, isolation pool fence that completely separates the house and play area of the yard from the pool area. The fence should be at least 4 feet high. Use self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward with latches that are out of reach of children. Also, consider additional barriers such as automatic door locks or alarms to prevent access or notify you if someone enters the pool area.
- Remove floats, balls and other toys from the pool and surrounding area immediately after use. The presence of these toys may encourage children to enter the pool area or lean over the pool and potentially fall in.
If you are in or around natural bodies of water:
- Know the local weather conditions and forecast before swimming or boating. Strong winds and thunderstorms with lightning strikes are dangerous.
- Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets when boating, regardless of distance to be traveled, size of boat, or swimming ability of boaters.
- Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags.
- Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents (e.g. water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from shore). If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore; once free of the current, swim toward shore.
Fastercare is conveniently open seven days a week without requiring an appointment. For more information regarding water safety, please visit www.cdc.gov . If you have any questions regarding our services please do not hesitate to contact our office at 972.234.3299 or visit our website at www.faster-care.com.