Water Safety

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The warm and sunny Pasco weather is perfect for days on the water. However, it creates possible dangers for those who do not know how to swim. Fatal drowning rates continue to increase each year. Residential locations, such as a child’s home, a family or friend’s house, or a neighbor’s residence count for 71 percent of fatal drowning incidents. This is expected to increase as more families stay home to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office wants everyone to review the following water safety tips in order to reduce the chances of injury or death around water.

Stay Alert
Many drowning fatalities can be prevented by adult supervision. Children shouldn’t be unattended in or near water. Rather than assume someone else is watching a child in a pool area, designate an adult water watcher.

This person shouldn’t be distracted in any way and should have a charged phone nearby for emergencies. Although swimming lessons and life preservers are important for water safety, there is no substitute for adult supervision. Additionally, don’t leave objects such as toys near pools, docks, canals, or other bodies of water, which can draw a child’s attention towards water.

Water Safety Skills
Learning to swim is crucial for water safety. Between 2015-2017, children younger than 5 years old accounted for 75 percent of child drownings. Ensuring that children know how to swim and know the rules of pool or water safety are vital for reducing water-related incidents.

Establishing clear rules with children, such as don’t climb pool fences or stay off of docks while playing can aid in safety as well.

Another way to ensure safety while enjoying water-related activities is knowing CPR and updating these skills regularly. Additionally, keeping rescue equipment and a first aid kit poolside or easily accessible at all times can help prevent serious injury or death. Starting life-saving procedures prior to emergency personnel’s arrival can increase someone’s chances of living.

Appropriate Equipment
Proper fences, alarms, and pool covers are crucial for water safety. Check to make sure all drain covers are secure before entering a pool or spa. Use at least four-foot high fence with self-closing and self-latching gates around all pools. Never prop open gates that lead to water or leave furniture where a child could use it to climb over the fence. Use covers and install alarms, such as a wave-activated alarm in the pool or an alarm on the door leading from the house to the pool. En-sure all life-saving equipment, such as life rings or reaching poles are in good condition and readily available for use.

To learn more about water safety, visit poolsafely.gov, apsp.org, or redcross.org.

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