Swim Safe Strategies Aim to Help Prevent Drowning
It’s hot out there. As summer temperatures sizzle, nothing is more appealing than a cool dip in the water. But water fun comes with hazards.
“Water can be fun for children and adults to play with—but it can also be deadly,” explains Chandler Aquatics Superintendent Mark Foote. “Most children are drawn to water. It’s sparkly and things float in it. It’s fun to splash. But water safety is no laughing matter. Anyone can have a water-related accident—even those who know how to swim.”
Regardless of skill level or experience in the water, anyone can drown. But children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About half of preschoolers who drown do so in a residential swimming pool.
To keep water fun and safe, Chandler Aquatics urges you to practice the ABCs of water safety, which can help you remember the vital steps in preventing water-related injuries or death.
A is for Adult Supervision
Children should always have adult supervision. Continuous, active, direct line-of-sight supervision by a responsible and designated adult is the best method for prevention. Never consume alcohol when designated as the adult supervisor.
B is for Barriers
Make sure barriers are in place between your home and swimming pool or spa. The extra time gained will help you get to your child before an injury happens. Even the best parent finds it challenging to watch a child every minute of every day. Barriers act as “layers of protection” that prevent water-related tragedies from occurring.
The best pool barrier is a four-sided fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate that opens outward. The barriers must separate the pool from the home. If the home opens directly to the pool, door alarms and locks should be installed.
C is for Classes
Everyone should know how to swim! CPR and first-aid classes for adults, and swimming lessons and water safety classes for kids will make sure everyone knows what to do in an emergency.
As a member of the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona, Chandler offers year-round classes for children as young as 6 months old and a handful of different lessons designed to help children and adults get comfortable in water and learn to swim. The lesson program offered by the city follows the American Red Cross Learn-To-Swim and Parent & Child Aquatic Program. Chandler also provides reduced rates to residents and scholarships to those who might not otherwise be able to afford lessons.