Summer is a season filled with sunshine, barbecues, and recreational swimming! Whether in a pool at home, at a friend’s, at the lake or the ocean, many kids and adults choose swimming as a top recreational activity each summer.
Water safety is top priority for many parents for good reason. According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1-4. Though prevention is key, knowing how to perform CPR could save a life, like in this recent story of a 6th grader saving her friend by performing CPR after nearly drowning.
Staggering Swimming Stats:
- About 91 million people over the age of 16 swim in oceans, lakes, and rivers each year in the United States.
- More than half of fatal and nonfatal drownings among those 15 years and older occurred in natural water settings, including lakes, rivers and oceans.
- In the U.S. alone, there are 10.4 million residential pools and 309,000 public swimming facilities (according to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals).
- Among children ages 1 to 4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools.
Cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) involves performing cycles of chest compressions and providing rescue breaths. For an unconscious person who is not breathing, a rescuer providing quality chest compressions does the work of the heart and lungs, circulating oxygen-rich blood to the brain, keeping vital organs alive and preserving brain function.
Anyone can perform CPR, however with training, potential rescuers are better prepared, more confident and more efficient at providing high-quality CPR.
Three easy steps to remember when performing hands-only CPR.
Ensure the scene is safe and call 911
Shout “Are you okay?” If unresponsive, immediately begin CPR
Press the heel of one hand on the chest, and place your other hand on top of the first and begin compressions pushing hard and fast at the rate of 100 to 120 beats per minute
Think “Staying Alive, Imperial March (Darth Vader’s theme song), Sweet Home Alabama and Dancing Queen. All have a rhythm of 100 beats per minute.
Water Safety & Drowning Prevention
Learn to Swim
1. Make certain everyone in your family know how to swim well.
2. Enroll young children in formal swimming lessons as soon as age-appropriate.
1. Teach children to ask for permission to go near water.
2. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear life jackets.
3. Use the buddy system, never let anyone swim alone.
Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water
1. Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool.
2. Remove access to above-ground pools such as ladders and outdoor furniture when pool is not in use.
Maintain Close Supervision
1. Maintain a constant watchful eye on kids, even if a lifeguard is present.
2. Stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when you are supervising.