Did you know that drowning is silent and can occur in as little as two inches of water and as quickly as 20 seconds? Although 100% preventable, drowning is the leading cause of death among children ages five and under and the second leading cause among children under fourteen. The most common reason children drown is a lapse in active adult supervision. Parents and caretakers are urged to remain vigilant when children are near water and encouraged to review and share the ABCs of Water Safety :
A is for Active Adult Supervision:
- Assign an adult to be a Water Watcher, actively keeping their eyes on the water without ANY distractions;
- Never swim alone, even adults;
- Never rely on water rings, rafts, or other swimming aids in place of U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation devices (life jackets);
- Keep infants and toddlers within an arm's reach; and
- If a child or adult goes missing, every second counts! Check the water first!
B is for Barriers:
- Install and maintain proper fencing around pools and spas to isolate swimming areas;
- Use multiple layers of protection, such as fences, gate/door alarms, and safety covers, to keep children away from pools and spas;
- Use self-closing, self-latching gates that open outward and away from the pool; and
- Remove items such as chairs or tables that a child could use to climb over a fence.
C is for Classes:
- Learn to swim by taking lessons;
- Learn first aid and CPR. Always keep a phone nearby to call 9-1-1; and
- teach children that running, jumping, and pushing others on pool decks is dangerous and can cause injuries.
To learn more, view the Orange County Fire Authority's Drowning Prevention video or download a printable copy of the ABCs of Water Safety. For additional safety tips, please visit the OCFA website.