WATER SMART BROWARD: Protecting Our Children Around Water
By Water Smart Broward and Children’s Services Council
CPR Classes Available at the Following Locations: • Broward Health 954.759.7400
While being almost always preventable, drowning is the leading cause of injury and death to children from 1 to 4 years old. Most children who drown in home pools were not expected to be in or even near the pool and entered the water without the knowledge of their parent or caregiver. That is why, children, especially toddlers, need capable, close and constant supervision in and around water. Parents need to talk to their child about water safety. Here are some ideas to start with: 1. “Don’t go near a pool without an adult.” This is the most important water safety conversation to have because it is so simple. 2. “If you see someone struggling in the water, don’t jump in to help. Run and get an adult. And if you fall into a pool, don’t panic, turn around, find the wall and climb out or yell for help.” 3. Practice this skill in the pool with your child. Have the child practice wearing clothing to experience the sensation. Remember Water Safety • It Can Happen to You. Many parents who lost a child to drowning never considered that their child could be at risk; they just didn’t realize how close the danger was. • Take ownership of your child’s safety. Never rely on responsible behavior from your child, another child or even other adults. Know who is watching your child when you can’t be there. • Don’t Multitask. Pool time means your full attention IS needed to properly supervise. Drowning happens quickly; most children who are under water for as little as 6 minutes die. • Have a response plan. If your child is missing, check the water first – whether it is the pool, lake, canal or tub. Know CPR.
Remember: Children who drown do not scream, splash or struggle. They silently slip beneath the water, and usually with a parent nearby. Designate yourself or an adult supervisor to act as a Water Watcher regardless of whether the water nearby is an ocean, a lake, a water park, a pool or the bathtub. These multiple layers of protection can help prevent childhood drownings: • Install Child Proof Doors and Locks on All Interior Door Environments > Door handles should be 5 feet above ground level > Always keep doors locked • Install Alarms on Access Doors to Pools, Spas, • Install 4-Sided Isolation Fencing Separating the Pool and/or Backyard Lake from the Home and from all Access Doors and Entrances > Always leave the barrier in place when the pool is not in use > Gates should be 5 feet tall, self-closing and self- latching • Install A Floating Pool Alarm > Do not deactivate alarm > Consider having the pool alarm connected into your home alarm • Learn CPR And Rescue Techniques > Anyone over age 14 in your home should have CPR training > Babysitters and caregivers should also be trained > 911 dispatchers can give CPR instruction over the phone and All Water Environments > Do not deactivate alarms > If the alarm can be temporarily deactivated for an adult to open the door, the deactivate button should be out of children’s reach
• Coral Springs Fire Academy 954.346.1774 • American Heart Association 1.800.242.8721 • American Red Cross 1.800.RED.CROSS Community Education Contact the following organizations to bring life-saving education to you and your neighbors, your community organization, your workplace or place of worship: • Swim Central 954-357-SWIM • FL Dept. of Health in Broward Drowning Prevention Task Force of • Broward County 954-467-4700 x 5807 • Pediatric Associates Foundation www. pediatricassociatesfoundation.org • Water Smart Broward www.watersmartbroward.org • Children’s Service Council of Broward County www.cscbroward.org, 954-377-1000 • 2-1-1 Broward q Water Smart Broward is a collaboration between Children’s Services Council of Broward County, Pediatric Associates Foundation and Florida Department of Health in Broward County. For more information on how they are working to reduce the incidence of fatal and nonfatal drowning among children ages 1-4 in Broward County Municipalities, go to www.watersmartbroward.org