As temperatures rise this holiday weekend, San Ramon Valley Firefighters want to remind residents that every day, almost ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.(1)
Preventing drowning tragedies is as simple as learning your ABC's.
Always make sure there is Adult Supervision! Assign an adult to supervise children in and around the swimming pool and spa, confirm that adult knows the address of the pool and can call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. Make sure to maintain constant eye-to-eye supervision with children in and around the swimming pool and spa. Always remove children from the swimming pool and spa area for any distraction such as a telephone call.
Floaties or other inflatable flotation devices are not life jackets and should never be a substitute for adult supervision.
Create Barriers! Have a 5 foot high fence enclosure that isolates your swimming pool and spa from the home, play areas, front and side yards as well as neighboring yards. Make sure all gates are self-closing and self-latching, opening outward, with the latch placed on the pool side out of reach. All chairs, tables, large toys or other objects that would allow a child to climb up to reach the gate latch or enable the child to climb over the fence should be removed or kept inside the fenced area.
Install exit alarms on all house doors leading to the swimming pool and spa. Lock all doors and windows leading to the swimming pool and spa area. Also consider an approved swimming pool and spa safety cover and/or an approved swimming pool and spa alarm. Remember to completely remove cover before children are allowed in the pool.
Take Classes! Learn CPR, the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District offers low cost classes. For more information and to sign up for a class, visit www.firedepartment.org/cpr or purchase an at-home "CPR Anytime" training kit through the American Heart Association. Learn how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and where this device is located if one is on the premise.
Learn to swim, take a swimming class through your local community pool or private swim school. Don't consider children "drown proof" because they have taken swimming lessons. About 25% of all young drowning victims have had swimming lessons.
Remember, no one is drown-proof; even the strongest swimmer can drown. Learn your ABC's of Pool Safety today!
The San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District is an internationally-accredited special district that provides all-risk fire, rescue and emergency medical services to the communities of Alamo, Blackhawk, the Town of Danville, Diablo, the City of San Ramon, the southern area of Morgan Territory and the Tassajara Valley, in Northern California (Contra Costa County). The District's service area encompasses approximately 155 square miles and serves a population of 170,000.
(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. [cited 2012 May 3]. Available from URL: http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars .