A backyard pool is one of the first things that people think of in connection with drowning prevention, but it’s far from the only danger. There’s a multitude of water-related hazards around the home that aren’t even on the radar of most people. The majority of threats affect children, but the elderly and disabled are also at increased risk. Even skilled swimmers can drown.
As little as .067 ounces of water per pound of body weight entering the lungs can result in death. It occurs when the liquid enters the voice box, causing it to spasm and close. It’s a situation that can occur several hours after an individual is originally affected. The following are some essential tips to minimize the potential for drowning.
Never Leave Children Unattended
Youngsters should always be within arm’s reach of an adult anytime they’re near water. Drowning is the primary preventable cause of death for children ages 1-4 from pools, ponds, lakes, and even small streams.
Know how to Swim
Teaching children to swim is one of the best ways to prevent drowning. That doesn’t mean that adults should relax their vigilance.
Everyone should put away their phones when they’re around water. It only takes a moment’s distraction for disaster to strike. The tip applies to adults watching children and for the safety of adults themselves. Alcohol is also a distraction that should be avoided.
All tubs, buckets and kiddie pools should be emptied as soon as they’re no longer being used. Children less than a year old can drown at home from water left in a bucket.
Every pool and hot tub should be encircled by a fence at least four feet in height to prevent an accident, along with a gate that locks automatically. It’s also helpful to install an alarm that will alert individuals should the gate be opened.
Children can and do drown in toilets. They’re fascinated by the water and if they lean far enough, they can tip over into the toilet with no ability to right themselves. Toilet seat locks are available and it’s a good idea to keep bathroom doors closed.
CPR is a skill that everyone should know, along with how to respond to various types of emergencies. Always keep a fully stocked first aid kit on hand at home, along with a shepherd’s crook or life ring with a rope if there’s a pool. It’s always better to be “over-prepared” than risk a life.
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