Take Steps to Prevent Drowning

With the unofficial start of summer, the Onondaga County Health Department is reminding everyone to take steps to stay safe while near any body of water, including pools.  Drowning deaths are almost always preventable when measures are taken to ensure safe water recreation.   Parents, adults, and children must be vigilant about ALWAYS using safe water recreational practices.

Drowning can occur in a variety of situations such as: swimming, boating, and while children are left unsupervised in a bathtub.  According to SAFE KIDS Worldwide, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between 1 and 4 years old and it is the third leading cause of death among children.  Follow these safe water recreation tips every time you are near a body of water:

Child Safe Swimming and Safety Practices:

  • Never leave a child unsupervised in or around water, even for a moment
  • Never drink alcohol while supervising children who are swimming
  • Stay within an arm’s reach of a child  who cannot swim when they are near water
  • Always have at least one adult who is the designated “water watcher” (a person whose ONLY job is to watch the people in the water)
  • Stay focused and do not engage in other activities while supervising children swimming (e.g. reading, talking on a cell phone)
  • Remove pool toys immediately after use  because they could entice young children to enter the pool on their own at a later time

 Adult Safe Swimming and Safety Practices:

  • Swim only in designated and supervised swimming areas
  • Never drink alcohol while swimming
  • Always swim with a buddy
  • Enroll yourself and your children in swimming lessons
  • Install fencing at least five feet high with locks if you are a pool-owner
  • Keep rescue equipment, a telephone, and emergency phone numbers near the poolside
  • Use approved life-jackets

 For more information about water safety contact the Onondaga County Health Department at 435-3280 or go online to www.safekids.org.