The heat is definitely on! With competition leagues in full swing, both the temperature and the tempo of the matches is muy caliente! As a result, many teams are gathering to cool off in celebration of their wins or to cool down from their losses. Either way, we’ll probably be making our way to someone’s pool or to the lake or river, to jump in and get relief from the sizzle.
Unfortunately, as a community, we’ve recently been reminded of the associated dangers of not being prepared or lapses in supervision resulting in tragedy. Let’s all do our best to avoid this. We can remember the ABC’s of Water Safety.
A = Adult/Active Supervision. This means always having eye’s on our swimmers and within reach. So no drifting off to the TV to see if Miroslov Klose scored another one or venturing off with the latest Danielle Steele paperback allowed.
B = Barriers, which means safety devices. Fences, alarms, gate locks are all great ideas for delaying smaller wanderers (toddler age) from getting to the water without our knowledge. But they will only delay, not necessarily prevent, younger strikers from making a fast break to their goal of getting to the pool.
C = Classes, first, swimming classes. All children need to know how to swim. There are now several no-cost or low-cost classes available in the community. So do take advantage of these opportunities on…)
Often, children who do not know how to swim are entering waterways to cool off. This is an obvious hazard and should be avoided, use the hose instead. The other part of classes is CPR. We all should know the basics of CPR which can assist in the immediate rescue of a person until first responders arrive.
My colleagues and I have seen first-hand many situations in which bystander CPR has saved the life of a child. Finally, a word of caution for those pool parties, I personally have cared for and have been on resuscitation teams for kids who have drowned while the pool is surrounded by literally scores of people. In one case, there were an estimated 50 adults standing poolside having a party when one of several children slipped under unnoticed until it was too late.
So, use the water watchers rule. In the event of a pool party, one adult is assigned to be actively supervising the kids in the water at 15 minute intervals. Essentially, acting as a life guard without distraction. In addition, if we’re in open water, that is, a lake or river. Always insist on the use of Coast Guard approved Personal Floatation Devices (PFD’s). Water wings and pool noodles are not safety devices. No matter the skill level, open water poses the additional threats of water temperature, current, unseen step-offs / immediate drops of water depths, and obstacles. So please be mindful of these hazards.
Above all, play hard/play safe (and play cooooooool).
Valley Children’s Water Safety
Pool ladder climber