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Pool Safety and Drowning Prevention
Drowning is a preventable tragedy and is the leading cause of accidental injury and death in children under the age of ﬁve and the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 14. During the summer months of May through August, drowning rates nationally increase by 89% in comparison to the other months of the year. Therefore, having knowledge of drowning prevention strategies and practicing water safety is vital to ensuring that the hot summer months are filled with fun and free of accidents.
Before summer, the Orange County Fire Authority, in collaboration with the Orange County Task Force on Drowning Prevention launches a campaign to increase public awareness about drowning through a diverse community outreach campaign.
Essential Water Safety Tips
Most drownings are preventable with simple, yet essential safety tips that can keep you and your loved ones safe, cool, and having fun during the hot summer months.
- Lock it up - Install and maintain proper barriers around the pool. Keep pools gated and locked. Home pools should be enclosed with a locked fence that is at least 4 feet high.
- Install and maintain proper barriers around the pool. Use multiple layers of protection such as safety covers, gate alarms, door alarms, or motion-detection devices.
- Safety first - Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when out on boats. Children should also wear a life jacket when swimming in any body of water. Use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. "Water wings" or "floaties," inflatable rings, and other pool toys are not safety devices. Remove toys when a pool is not in use. Toys can attract your child to the pool.
- Keep a watchful eye - Supervise children in the water at all times. Children can drown within seconds, not minutes and there is typically no indicator that it is happening. Never leave a child unattended and designated a "Water Watcher" to supervise the child in the pool without engaging in social activities, reading, cooking, cleaning, or other distracting activities.
- Swimming lessons - Knowing how to swim is important to reduce the risk of drowning. Teach your child how to swim or enroll your child in swimming lessons with qualified instructors.
- No alcohol - Stay sober, alcohol and water don't mix so don't drink if you are boating, swimming or supervising children in the water.
- Learn CPR - CPR can save lives if given quickly after a water accident. Non-certified classes are offered by the Orange County Fire Department.
What to do in Case of an Emergency
- Get the child out of the water immediately.
- Call 9-1-1.
- Begin CPR if you are trained.
- If you do not know CPR, follow the operator's instructions until help arrives.