Apr 262011

TUCSON – With summer looming, Tucson Fire wants to remind pool-owners to follow three simple steps to ensure everyone has a fun and safe time around the pool this season – they are the ABC’s of drowning prevention.

Adult Supervision – Have a designated child watcher – Tucson Fire says this is the first and most effective way to prevent drownings.

Barriers – Create as many barriers of protection as you can around your home and pool. Pools should have perimeter fencing, and gates should never be propped open. TFD says many of the drowning or near-drowning incidents in the last few years occurred when the child and the supervisors left the pool area for a few minutes, then the child returned through a propped-open gate.

Classes – Anyone capable of performing CPR should learn it, TFD says. Enroll children in swimming lessons, and remember that even though a child may know how to swim, they should ALWAYS be supervised by an adult. Children and adults alike should swim with a buddy and never swim alone, TFD says.

Remember that drowning prevention isn’t just for pools – you should always stay within an arm’s reach of children when they’re in the bathtub. Never leave children to supervise other children, TFD says. Remove all toys and wash clothes when done in the tub to allow it to drain properly. Take a look around your home for any water sources that could present a drowning hazard, TFD says, such as 5-gallon buckets, coolers, fountains and dog water bowls.

Each year, drowning continues to be the leading cause of death and injury to children in Arizona, TFD says. The vast majority of drowning deaths occur in a family pool, and typically, the child was last seen in a “safe” area.

The most common victim of drowning is a 2-year-old male. Drownings often occur when one or both parents are home – it’s called “The Silent Killer” because there’s no cry for help, and little sound from splashing. A child can drown right next to you, and you may never hear it, TFD says. Always WATCH children in and around the water.

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