Water Safety Reminders To Prevent Drowning

EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency) teamed up with the Oklahoma Swim Academy recently to demonstrate how fast drownings can happen and what people should know.

According to paramedics, it is important to keep an eye out for signs of drowning.

Andrew Watson, an EMSA paramedic, you shouldn't be looking for anyone "flailing around screaming, asking for help." He said, "that's an overdramatization for television."

Watson said, instead, these would be "people who look like they're struggling, kind of at water level with their mouth, hair over their face, things that just don't necessarily look right about them."

EMSA and the Oklahoma Swim Academy had a demonstration that included an in-pool presentation of a child drowning and a lifeguard rescue. The demo also includes a step-by-step rescue instructions and tips for staying safe around water this summer.

Miranda Vondale Foster "'Signs you wouldn't necessarily see on TV': EMSA provides water safety tips to help prevent child drowning" https://okcfox.com/news/local/signs-you-wouldnt-necessarily-see-on-tv-emsa-provides-water-safety-tips-to-help-prevent-child-drowning-unintentional-death-silent-killer-oklahoma-swim-academy-demonstration-presentation-andrew-watson-paramedic-cpr-training-lifeguard-oklahoma-okc (Jun. 30, 2023).

Commentary and Checklist

The CDC reports that the number one cause of death among children ages one to four is drowning. For children ages five to fourteen, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death after motor vehicle crashes. According to stopdrowningnow.org, in the U.S. an average of 3,500 to 4,000 people drown each year. This is equivalent to 10 fatal drownings per day.

How can those who work with children help keep them safe in and around water?
Following are some water safety tips:

  • Have written safety policies and procedures.
  • Train staff on the policies.
  • Make sure you have sufficient staff to provide the most safety.
  • Never leave children unattended in or near the water.
  • Always have designated watchers to keep an eye on children around water.
  • Make sure all gates and doors to the pool are self-closing and self-latching.
  • Keep a phone near the pool in case of emergencies.
  • Never permit diving in the shallow end of the swimming pool. 
  • Encourage the use of life jackets.
  • Remove inflatables from pool area when not in use.
  • Make sure pool has an alarm.
  • Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible
  • Install appropriate safety equipment around pool such as barriers, a fence, pool covers, or alarms
  • Learn how to perform CPR on infants, children, and adults.
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