Playing in a swimming pool, ocean, or even a bathtub can be good fun for people of all ages. But all of these pose a drowning risk for both children and adults alike. In fact, it only takes one inch of water for someone to drown.
According to the Children Safety Zone, 18 Arizonans have died in water-related incidents this year alone*. This summer, brush up on your own water safety know-how and take precautions to keep children safe in and around water:
Water Safety in a Swimming Pool
With our hot Arizona climate, many of us have easy access to a swimming pool. Whether the pool is in our own back yard, in a friend’s yard, at a community center, or at an aquatic park, swimming pools can be a great source of family fun and fitness. No matter where you choose to swim, keep these safety tips in mind to reduce the risk of drowning:
- For home pools, install several barriers, such as fences and doors, around pools. No single barrier is 100 percent effective, so using several can provide extra levels of safety.
- Advise swimmers to stay away from pool drains. As an added precaution, make sure you have a drain pump that will turn off if something gets caught in the drain.
- Supervise young swimmers at all times — even if they know how to swim.
- Keep toys, tricycles, and other children’s play things away from the pool.
- If a child can’t swim, an adult should be in the water within arm’s length of the child. Never rely on inflatable toys, such as “water wings”, “noodles”, or inner-tubes, to keep a child afloat.
- Any individuals who can’t swim should only be in the portion of the swimming pool where their feet can reach the floor.
- For teens and adults, always swim with a buddy — never swim alone.
- Dive only when and where it’s posted that diving is allowed.
- If someone is having trouble swimming, it’s safer to find something to throw to the person to help them out of the pool, such as a life preserver, than it is to jump in the water to try to rescue them.
Water Safety at the Beach
Many Arizonans escape our dry summers and head to California or tropical beaches for vacation. If you’re one of the lucky Arizonans who can spend part of your summer at a beach, consider these safety tips:
- Supervise young swimmers at all times.
- Only swim in designated swimming areas.
- Only go to beaches and in oceans where lifeguards are on duty.
- Be mindful of water currents and waves — which are unpredictable and dangerous, and can pull you down under water.
- Be aware of drop-offs, those areas where the water suddenly goes from shallow to deep. Only swim in water where you can reach the ocean’s bottom.
- Enforce the “no questions asked” rule. If children see adults waving them to come in, children should stop immediately and come to land.
- Never dive head first into an ocean — the ocean floor contains sharp objects, which can cause injury.
Water Safety on a Boat
Sometimes, our water fun takes us off land and onto a water vessel, such as a boat or jet ski. Keep these three safety tips in mind whenever enjoying a ride on a water vessel:
- Everyone in a boat, no matter what age, should wear a Coast Guard-approved life vest at all times.
- Before going out on a boat or jet ski, practice swimming in a life vest to become familiar with how it feels.
- Never allow kids ages 16 or under to operate a personal watercraft, such as a jet ski.
Other Water Safety Tips
Whether cooling off in a pool or ocean, consider the following safety tips:
- Learn CPR. CPR performed by bystanders has improved outcomes in drowning victims.
- Keep a phone nearby for easy access in case of emergency.
- Never swim outdoors during thunderstorms or lightning storms.
- Get educated on water safety and CPR.
Seminar on “Water Safety and CPR for Kids and Adults”
At Mountain Vista Medical Center, Saturday, July 18, 10 a.m.
Mountain Vista Medical Center and Superstition Fire and Medical Department are partnering to bring you a complimentary seminar about keeping kids and adults safe around water this summer. In addition to water safety education, you’ll learn how to properly administer CPR to potentially save a life (note: while you will learn CPR, you will not receive a certificate of completion). This hands-on seminar is geared toward parents, grandparents, babysitters, and anyone who wants to better understand how to keep loved ones safe in and around water. Space is limited, so RESERVE YOUR SPOT NOW !