Local tragedy on Father's Day serves as grim reminder of need for pool safety
East County News Service
June 22, 2010 (San Diego's East County) - As the Father's Day drowning of an East County child tragically illustrates, pool safety is an important matter for all pool owners and parents to follow. In California, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in toddlers ages one to four.
George e. Lucia Sr., Valley Center Fire Prevention District Captain/Fire Marshal, offersthis advice to prevent child drownings, including pool safety and rescue tips:
PRACTICE SWIMMING POOL SAFETY NOW, BEFORE A CHILD DROWNS.
PLEASE WATCH YOUR YOUNG CHILDREN, ESPECIALLY AROUND POOLS.
IT JUST TAKES A FEW SECONDS for tragedy to strike. Once the drowning has occurred, it is just a few minutes and irreversible brain death can occur.
The recommended approach with drowning is PREVENTION.
Pool owners should use a DESIGNATED POOL WATCHER whenever children are present. This should be an adult who is capable of swimming well, not participating in any other activities and remains by the pool side (not in the pool) to be able to see all the pool occupants clearly.
Some additional preventative measures that should be taken by pool owners are:
Ø Fencing around pool area and yard with self-closing/latching gates.
Ø Additional inner fence immediately around pool itself.
Ø Alarms for doors, windows and pool covers.
Ø Door/window latches that are out of the reach of children.
Ø Locking hard covers for spas/hot tubs.
What to Do If You See Someone Drowning
Ø Call 9-1-1 immediately. (We advise installing a telephone or always having a cordless or cell phone in any pool area.) Ø If the victim is within throwing distance, throw a floatable object to them. This includes a life jacket, kick board or even an empty gallon jug.
Ø If the victim is within reaching distance, assist them by extending something long, such as a rope, pole, ring bowie or a tree branch.
If you must enter the water to assist someone, take a flotation device large enough to carry two adults safety. Keep the device between you and the person in distress; even a child can put an adult at risk in deep water.