Too often, firefighters hear people say, “it was just a few seconds.” Unfortunately, just a few seconds is all it takes for a child to drown. Drowning is the leading cause of death in Arizona for children under the age of five.
Most of these children drown in their own backyard swimming pool, but others drown in buckets, bathtubs, toilets, dog water bowls, canals and ponds. Small children are top-heavy, and they don’t have the upper body strength to lift themselves out of one of these dangerous situations. Even if the child survives the incident, they are often left with permanent brain damage.
Drowning and near drowning can be prevented, and you can help! Anyone involved with the supervision of children needs to be aware of the dangers associated with any body of water. Below are some useful tips to prevent these needless tragedies.
• Know where your children are at all times
• Use an approved barrier to separate the pool from the house
• Never allow children to be alone near a pool or any water source
• Have life-saving devices near the pool, such as a pole/hook, or flotation device
• Keep large objects such as tables, chairs, toys, and ladders away from pool fences
• Post the 9-1-1 number on the phone
• Do not allow children to play around the pool and store all toys outside the pool area
• If you leave the pool area, take the children with you
• Always have a “designated child watcher”
• Learn to swim
• Never swim alone, or while under the influence of alcohol or medications
• Never swim when thunder or lightning is present