Tag Archives: AED Awareness

10 Reasons Why AED Drills Are Important in Schools

Discover why AED drills are important and learn how to run an effective drill.

AEDs can save lives, but only if educators and administrators are prepared to take action. Tornado, fire, lockdown, and even active shooter drills are the norm for most schools across the country, but when is the last time you scheduled a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA)/AED drill?

In this post, we’ll discuss the reasons why SCA/AED drills are important in schools and we’ll give you the tools you need to create an effective drill.

Why are AED Drills Important? SCA is Shockingly Common in Schools.

A couple of weeks ago, we covered the importance of AEDs in schools. However, if you’re a by-the-numbers kind of person, here are a few statistics about SCA in schools and in children under the age 18:

  1. In the United States, 1 in 25 schools experiences an SCA event each year.
  2. In 2017, 7,037 children died from cardiac arrest.
  3. Schools are community gathering places, and adults are even more likely to suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in a school setting than young adults.
  4. The hospital survival rate of students who experience SCA in a school with an AED is approximately 70%.
  5. The hospital survival rate of students who experience SCA in a school without an AED is approximately 8%.
  6. Student-athletes are more than 2 times as likely to die from SCA than non-athletes.
  7. 66% of the deaths caused by SCA in children occur during regular exercise.
  8. SCA caused by commotio cordis is the most common cause of traumatic death in youth baseball.
  9. Survival decreases an astounding 10% every minute until a defibrillator shock is applied.
  10. SCA in young people can be caused by Long QT Syndrome, commotio cordis, or congenital heart disease.

Sources: American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, Resuscitation Journal, Close the Gap, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, National Institute of Health, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

How to Run an Effective AED Drill: Create, Practice, and Review.

Developing and running effective AED drills are an essential part of your school’s emergency plan. Because the single most important contributing factor for survival of SCA is minimizing the time from collapse to defibrillation —  survival decreases an astounding 10% every minute until a shock is applied — knowing what to do and how to do it quickly may save a life of a student, parent, or school employee.

Regularly scheduled drills can test your team and your student body’s readiness and their ability to act quickly and to respond appropriately in the event of a cardiac emergency.

The Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation’s publication Saving Lives in Schools and Sports recommends developing and conducting practice drills for your cardiac Emergency Action Plan (EAP); it’s the best way to make sure it works! Then, once you’ve executed your drill, be sure that you conduct a detailed post-drill review so you and your team can make changes based on real-life scenarios.

Planning Your AED Drill

Here’s a convenient checklist for your annual or semi-annual AED drill:

  • Inform your team that you’ll be conducting a drill in the next week or two so they have an opportunity to review your EAP.
  • Make sure your staff is trained in adult, child, and infant CPR.
  • Choose a scenario that fits your setting.
  • Designate an observer/proctor to administer the drill.
  • Develop a drill worksheet (this worksheet should include the scenario for the drill, the time the drill commenced, when the victim was found, time the rescuer called 911, when chest compressions started, when other bystanders arrived on the scene, when the AED arrived on the scene, when AED training pads were applied, and the names of each individual performing the actions).
  • You’ll need an appropriately-sized CPR Manikin, AED trainer, AED, and a timing device.

Day of AED Drill

On the day of your school’s AED drill, your designated observer will place the CPR manikin in an appropriate, visible location. As soon as the manikin has been observed and someone has activated the EAP, the observer should note the time and read the scenario to the responders.

As soon as the responders have obtained the AED from its usual location, the observer should hand the rescuers the AED trainer to continue the drill (if possible, ask an assistant to return the emergency-ready AED to its clearly marked and accessible location). Do not use your emergency-ready AED for the drill! During this time the observer will record times and responses. If possible, the observer should take a video recording of the drill for post-drill evaluation.

After Drill Review

First, congratulate your team on a job well done! Then give everyone some time to process and think about their part in the drill. After everyone has had a day to think about how things went, bring your staff members together for a detailed analysis of your AED drill. Ask your educators what they thought went well. If possible, review the video of the drill. Ask your observer to note what the rescuers did right and what they could have been done better. Consider which parts of the drill went smoothly and which parts were more challenging.

If you make changes to your emergency action plan, be sure to communicate those changes and schedule another drill for later in the school year!

For more information about AED packages for your school or AED and CPR training, call the team at Cardio Partners and AED.com at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

The Importance of AEDs in Schools

10 Facts About Automated External Defibrillators in Schools

With students across the country settling in for another year of learning, now is the perfect time to discuss the importance of AEDs in schools. Last week we covered the differences in adult, child, and infant CPR as well as the pediatric chain of survival and this week we’ll cover some interesting facts and statistics about AEDs in schools.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. Often, this is caused by ventricular fibrillation (VF). VF is an abnormality in the heart’s electrical system, and when this occurs blood stops pumping to the brain, heart, and the rest of your vital organs. Bystanders who promptly begin CPR and defibrillation can keep oxygenated blood flowing throughout the body and preserve life.

Although sudden cardiac death (SCD) is shocking and leaves its mark on survivors, regardless of the age of the victim, it’s particularly tragic when school-aged children are the victims of SCD. The scars left by SCD on families, schools, and communities can be profound. Here at Cardio Partners and AED.com, we’re doing our best to raise awareness about SCA and to advocate for AEDs in the home, on the job, and in our schools.

Thousands of Children Die From Cardiac Arrest Each Year

According to the American Heart Association’s latest figures, 7,037 children die from cardiac arrest each year. When you consider that most American children spend between 175 and 180 days in school each year and receive between 900 and 1,000 hours of instructional time per year (Center for Public Education) it’s critically important for our public schools to have AEDs readily available.

SCA is Shockingly Common

It’s hard to believe, but two in fifty high schools in the United States can expect an SCA event each year.

Most States Do Not Require AEDs in Public Schools

Although Tennessee, Cardio Partners’ home state, just joined the ranks of states that require AEDs in public high schools, fewer than 20 states have enacted legislation requiring AEDs in public schools. Just nine of those states provide funding for AEDs.

AEDs in Schools Dramatically Improve the Hospital Survival Rate

The hospital survival rate of students who suffer from cardiac arrest in a school with an AED is approximately 70%, compared with only approximately 8% in the overall population of school-age children (American College of Cardiology).

Young Athletes are More Likely to Experience Sudden Cardiac Death than Non-Athletes

In the United States, a young competitive athlete dies suddenly every three days. Young athletes are more than twice as likely to experience SCD than young non-athletes (Close the Gap). The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that two-thirds of the deaths caused by SCA in children occur during exercise or activity. In fact, SCA is the leading cause of death in young athletes.

Every Second Counts

The American College of Cardiology notes that, “The most important contributing factor for survival of sudden cardiac arrest is the time from collapse to defibrillation. Survival decreases 10% every minute until a shock is applied.”

Anyone Can Use an AED

Studies indicate that students without any prior CPR or AED training can accurately use an AED as directed. AEDs are, by design, easy to use. By following an AED’s simple, clear voice prompts, bystanders can perform the crucial steps that can save a life.

The Biggest Hurdle for Many Schools is Cost

Many companies, including Cardio Partners and AED.com, offer affordable AED packages to schools. These packages may include an AED, compliance management, a wall cabinet, AED pads, a rescue-ready kit, signage, and more. CPR and AED training courses are also available.

Finding the Best Location for Your AED is Important

Your school’s AED can’t save a life if no one can find it! Finding the best placement for your AED is crucial. Locating an AED in a highly visible and public location can mean the difference between life and death.

Good Samaritan Laws Protect Bystanders

You should never be afraid to lend assistance to someone experiencing SCA. Although not all states mandate the placement of AEDs in schools, all 50 states have enacted Good Samaritan laws to protect bystanders who use an AED to resuscitate a victim of SCA.

For more information about AED packages for your school or AED and CPR training, call the team at Cardio Partners and AED.com at 866-349-4362 or email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

The History of Defibrillation, Defibrillators and Portable AEDs

From dogs to tablespoons to Zolls, AEDs have come a long way

As you can tell, we’re on a bit of a history kick here at Cardio Partners and AED.com! This week we’re dialing the way-back machine to 1899 to learn more about the origins of defibrillation and the birth of AEDs. To learn more about the History of CPR, check out last week’s post!

1899: The Dog Days of Defibrillation

Defibrillation was discovered at the University of Geneva in 1899 by physiologists Jean-Louis Prevost and Frédéric Batelli. In the course of their research on ventricular fibrillation — a condition that occurs when the heart beats with rapid and erratic electrical impulses and causes the chambers in the heart to quiver ineffectively — they discovered that they could induce fibrillation in dogs and then, with an even higher jolt, defibrillate by applying high-current shocks directly to the surface of the heart.

Admittedly, this was a pretty significant discovery, but because they used a very high voltage, the poor pup’s heart was ultimately incapacitated and subsequent defibrillation theories focused more on the harmful effects of the procedure rather than the potential positive, life-saving effects we’re all familiar with today (National Center for Biotechnology Information).

1933: Self-Starter for Dead Man’s Heart

A generation later, in October of 1933, Popular Mechanics ran an article about Dr. Albert S. Hyman’s promising new invention, Hyman’s Otor.

The device was essentially a “hollow steel needle, through which a carefully insulated wire runs to the open point. Both the needle itself and its central wire are connected to the terminals of a light, spring-driven generator, provided with a current-interrupting device. This mechanism can be adjusted to give electrical impulses with the frequency of the heart-beat from infancy to old age. When the physician faces a case of heart stoppage, he inserts the needle between the first and second ribs into the right auricle of the heart, and starts the generator at the required frequency” (Source: Modern Mechanix).

The device was tested on animals and revived 14 out of 43 victims of cardiac arrest (Science Museum, London). Even though the device received positive press coverage, it was perceived as interfering with natural events and was not accepted by the medical community.

1947: What a Difference a Decade Makes…and Spoons

If you’ve been wondering where the tablespoons come in, you’re about to find out! The first successful defibrillation was reported by an American surgeon, Dr. Claude S. Beck, in 1947.

His patient, a 14-year-old boy, “tolerated the surgery well but went into cardiac arrest during closure” (Resuscitation Journal). Using a combination of direct cardiac massage, drugs, and a shock delivered by what appears to be gauze-covered spoons, the boy was successfully resuscitated (Case Western Reserve University).

1950: Zoll Begins Working on an External Pacemaker

Yes, the Zoll that we all know and love was founded by a Harvard cardiologist and an AED pioneer. “In 1952, Dr. Zoll and a team of other doctors in Boston applied electric charges externally to the chest to resuscitate two patients whose hearts had stopped. The first patient lived only 20 minutes. The second patient survived for 11 months, after 52 hours of electrical stimulation” (New York Times).

1965: Defibrillators Go Mobile

In 1965, a professor from Northern Ireland, Frank Pantridge, invented the world’s first portable defibrillator. Known as  “the father of emergency medicine,” Pantridge’s device relied on a car battery for current. The 150 pound device was installed in an ambulance and was first used in 1966 (BBC News).

1972: LBJ is Saved Today

In 1972, when President Lyndon B. Johnson suffered a massive heart attack at his daughter’s Virginia home, he was revived by a portable defibrillator.

“Dr. Richard S. Crampton of the University of Virginia Medical School in Charlottesville, who rushed a mobile coronary care unit to former President Lyndon B. Johnson…said in an interview: ‘It has tremendous potential application. Conceptually, this ought to be on every plane, train, bus, at stations and at airports, in case someone suddenly collapses. It’s like a fire extinguisher; you just hang it on the wall and you go put out the fire, which happens to be ventricular fibrillation’” (New York Times).

2018: Where We Are With AEDs Now

Today, portable AEDs are so easy to use that many states require their placement in schools, sports arenas, airports, health clubs, casinos, and other public places. Portable AEDs are also available for home use.

Unlike professor Pantridge’s “portable” defibrillator, modern AEDs typically weigh approximately 3 pounds and are fully automated.

For the full scoop on CPR or AEDs, CPR and AED Training, or to purchase an AED, visit AED.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

Which Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is Right for You?

AED Buyer’s Guide: 5 Things to Consider When Choosing an AED

Why are AEDs so Important?

So you’ve decided to purchase an AED. Good for you! The statistics surrounding sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) are sobering, but your decision to buy an Automated External Defibrillator for your home or workplace may save a life. Here at Cardio Partners and AED.com, we’re ready to help you find the one that’s best for you or your organization!

Did you know that more than 350,000 Americans suffer from cardiac arrest each year? Approximately 10,000 of these occur in the workplace (OSHA) and a staggering 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur at home. At least 20,000 lives could be saved annually by prompt use of AEDs (American Heart Association).

In other words, if you are called on to perform CPR or to administer a shock from an AED, you’re likely working to save the life of someone you know and love. The American Heart Association (AHA) also notes that communities with AED programs, which include comprehensive CPR and AED training, have achieved survival rates of 40% or higher for cardiac arrest victims.

AEDs save lives by restoring normal heart rhythms in individuals who suffer sudden cardiac arrest.

An AED is a small, portable and user-friendly electronic device that can automatically diagnose and respond to life-threatening heart rhythms. Most AEDs provide simple, easy-to-follow audio and visual instructions that bystanders can quickly comprehend and apply. Some AEDs advise the user when to administer the shock, while other AEDs may automatically apply a shock if the heart is arrhythmic.

So what are you waiting for? Here’s everything you need to know about finding the right AED for your home or business.

1) Price

As with any technology, prices for AEDs vary widely. When considering price, think about your needs, your training, and how often and under what conditions your AED is likely to be used.

recertified Cardiac Science Powerheart G3 comes in at a modest $595 while a new Zoll AED Pro is priced at $2895. Professionals rescuers can appreciate the Zoll’s See-Thru CPR® feature, which allows them to see a patient’s underlying cardiac rhythm during resuscitation efforts. This feature enables more consistent, interruption-free compressions.

2) Pads

When it comes to AED pads, one-size-fits-all isn’t an option. Broadly speaking, there are two types of AED pads: Adult and pediatric. Consider the population you’re most likely to use your AED on and purchase your equipment accordingly. If, for example, your AED is placed on a shop floor or in a retirement community, it’s unlikely you’ll need pediatric pads! If your AED is going to be placed in a school setting, however, you may want to consider a school AED package that includes both adult and pediatric pads.

3) Batteries

Pretty much every AED manufacturer has a unique battery that’s patented for the exclusive use in their machines. Although most AED batteries are non-rechargeable, devices with rechargeable batteries are also available. Some AEDs, like the Zoll AED Plus, even use standard consumer 123 lithium batteries!

Once again, how you plan on using your device should determine whether you select a unit with a rechargeable battery or one with a non-rechargeable battery. Bottom line: If you’re a professional who regularly uses an AED, a rechargeable battery may be right for you. CPR and AED instructors may also benefit from rechargeable training units such as the Defibtech Lifeline AED Trainer. However, If your AED is rarely used, a low-maintenance non-rechargeable battery (with a longer lifespan) may be the best bet.

Remember, a well-charged and up-to-date AED battery is essential to the proper functioning of your device! If you are purchasing an AED for your home or office, we highlyrecommend that you to invest in an AED Compliance Management Program.

4) IP Rating

Every AED has an IP code. This “International Protection Rating” or “Ingress Protection Rating” is a code which classifies the level of protection an electrical device (like an AED) provides against liquid and dust. If you’re shopping for a poolside AED, look for a high IP rating and consider a waterproof Pelican Case.

5) Size

If you’re planning on mounting your AED cabinet to the wall and forgetting about it until your compliance management program sends you a maintenance reminder, then size doesn’t matter. However, if your AED follows you wherever your team travels, then you’ll want to find a light and compact unit, like the Philips HeartStart OnSite AED.

For more information about purchasing a new or recertified AED or to schedule a free consultation, visit AED.com or call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

(Almost) Everything You Need to Know About CPR and AEDs

What is CPR? What Are AEDs? We Have the Answers!

Coming off the heels of a heart-pounding CPR and AED Awareness week, we realized that although we had a great time with our CPR Songs: Greatest Hits to Save Lives, it might be wise to share some general information about CPR and AEDs.

Because it’s impossible to teach you everything you need to know about CPR and AEDs in the space of a blog, we’re happy to share the top 10 things you need to know about the life-saving procedure and device. For everything you need to know, sign up for a CPR and AED training class today!

5 Things You Need to Know About CPR:

What is CPR?

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is an easy-to-learn first aid technique that can keep the victims of a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) or other medical emergency alive until medical professionals can take over.

What Does CPR Do?

CPR keeps blood pumping through the body, which helps maintain vital organ function. CPR has two primary goals: to keep oxygen flowing in and out of the lungs and to keep oxygenated blood flowing throughout the entire body.

Anyone Can Learn CPR

Although real-life doctors (and the actors who just play them on TV) perform CPR professionally, CPR training is easy and anyone can do it. With more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occurring each and every year, amateurs are welcome!

In many instances, “blended” courses allow busy folks to complete the text-based portion of the course online at their own pace and convenience. Once you’ve passed the online course, a focused 3-4 hour hands-on skills workshop rounds out the training. Wondering what you’ll learn in a CPR or First Aid class? Read our post on the subject!

CPR Can Be Tiring

Performing CPR can be physically demanding. High-performing CPR requires 100-120 deep and steady compressions per minute, so head to the gym and start working on your upper body strength and cardio! Take AED.com CPR playlist with you, while you’re at it! Should you be called upon to perform CPR in an emergency, you may find yourself getting tired, so if possible switch off with another person every couple of minutes.

Hands-Only CPR is Effective

Hands-only CPR (also known as compression-only CPR) is CPR without rescue breaths. The American Heart Association has noted that “Hands-only CPR carried out by a bystander has been shown to be as effective as CPR with breaths in the first few minutes during an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest for an adult victim.”

5 Things You Need to Know About AEDs:

What is an AED?

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a small, portable medical device. When its pads are attached to a person’s chest, the AED can analyze an individual’s heart rhythm and deliver a shock, if necessary, to restart his or her heart. Bystanders, as well as medical professionals, can use AEDs.

How Does an AED Work?

The device works by measuring an unresponsive person’s heart rhythm and delivering a shock to restart the heart or to shock the heart back into the correct rhythm. After analyzing the heart rhythm, automated voice instructions and text prompts tell the rescuer how to proceed. If defibrillation is necessary, the device will warn responders to stay clear of the victim while the shock is delivered. If CPR is indicated, the AED will instruct the rescuer to continue performing CPR.

When Do I Use an AED?

Sudden cardiac arrest can occur anytime, anywhere, and without warning. Call 911 and get the AED if someone becomes suddenly unresponsive, stops breathing, or does not respond when you tap or shake the shoulder firmly and ask, “Are you OK?”

Where Can I Find an AED?

Although laws for the placement of AEDs vary, many states require AEDs in public areas like gyms, schools, sports stadiums, and community centers. AEDs should be kept in a well-marked and publicly accessible location. If you don’t know where your office or workplace keeps the AED, find out! You never know when you might be called upon to use it.

If AEDs Are So Easy To Use, Why Do I Need Training?

Not only will training teach you how to respond quickly in the event of a cardiac emergency, but you’ll also learn how to activate the EMS system and act with confidence. Training also provides hands-on familiarity with an AED and teaches you how to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

For the full scoop on purchasing an AED, CPR and AED Training, and AED Compliance Management, download our free AED Starters Guide. Have questions? We’d love to chat! Call Cardio Partners at 866-349-4362. You can also email us at customerservice@cardiopartners.com.

CPR Songs: Greatest Hits to Save Lives

Cardio Partners Salutes CPR and AED Awareness Week With CPR Playlist

Happy CPR and AED Awareness week! Here at Cardio Partners, we’re supporting and promoting this important week with a curated Spotify playlist just for you! All of the songs on our Greatest Hits to Save Lives have a lifesaving tempo of 100 to 120 beats per minute, which is perfect for performing chest compressions during CPR. From Queen Bey to Queen, our playlist has a little something for everyone.

5 Fast Facts About Sudden Cardiac Arrest and CPR

Before we dive into some fun musical trivia, here are a few facts about sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

Fact 1: You Nearly Gave Me a Heart Attack Isn’t Accurate

Did you know that cardiac arrest and heart attacks aren’t the same thing? SCA occurs when an electrical malfunction in the heart causes an arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) and disrupts the flow of blood to the brain and other vital organs. A heart attack occurs when a blockage in an artery prevents the flow of blood to your heart.

So the next time your troublemaking teen sneaks up on you and scares you half to death, instead of “You nearly gave me a heart attack!” try out “I nearly had a cardiac arrest, kid!”

Fact 2: It Takes Less Than a Minute to Learn How to Save a Life

While it takes more than a decade to become a doctor, did you know that compression-only or hands-only CPR takes just a minute to learn and just may save someone’s life? Check out NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s simple 30-second, three-step video:

  • Step 1: Check the Victim

Check to see if the victim is responsive but tapping firming on his shoulders and checking for signs of breathing. If you don’t see any indications of life, get moving!

  • Step 2: Call 911

Call 911 immediately.

  • Step 3: Compress

Begin chest compressions. Interlock your fingers and use the heel of your palm to press down on the center of the center of the chest at a rate of two compressions per second.

Fact 3: Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a Leading Cause of Death

Unless you live in Montana, the odds of getting hit by lightning are just about one in a million. Between 2001 and 2010, an average of 280 lightning deaths and injuries were reported each year. Yet the moment we see a flash of lightning we know what to do: we wisely run for cover!

In stark contrast, there are more than 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year and 90% of these are fatal. Only 46% of the people who suffer an out-of-hospital SCA receive the immediate help they need before EMS teams arrive on the scene. Would you know what to do? If not, learn CPR!

Fact 4: You Can Change the Statistics

While it’s demoralizing to learn that 90% of the people who suffer from an SCA die and 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the home, it doesn’t help anyone to be fatalistic about it. Change the statistics! Learn CPR.

According to the American Heart Association, CPR (especially if performed immediately) can double or even triple a person’s chance for survival.

Fact 5: Our “Greatest Hits to Save Lives” Playlist is Great for the Gym

Look, we really, really hope that you’re not the kind of person who’s going to cue up our playlist before starting CPR on someone. That would be bad. So plug those earbuds in, start your warmup, and get your Body Movin’.

A Few Fun Facts About Our CPR Playlist

Fact 1: “Cecilia,” By Simon and Garfunkel, Was Banned in Malawi

Apparently, the Malawi Censorship Board wasn’t too pleased the song’s titular heroine, whose name was the same as President Banda’s “Official Hostess” (FileRoom).

Fact 2: “Girls Just Wanna’ Have Fun” Was First Recorded by a Man

Believe it or not, Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 breakthrough hit was written and first recorded by Robert Hazard in 1979 (Wikipedia).

Fact 3: “Crazy in Love” is Bey and Jay’s Only Chart-Topping Collaboration

While they may seemingly rule the universe, “Crazy in Love” is the power couple’s only #1 hit single (Forbes).

8 Pool Safety Tips and AED Best Practices for a Safe, Happy, and Healthy Summer!

Why is Pool Safety Important?

As visions of summer vacation dance in the minds of kids, parents, and teachers, it’s time to either start preparing your backyard pool for the flocks of neighborhood children or to renew that expired pool membership!

Before you take that first plunge into the deep end, however, it’s important to take a moment to reflect on the importance of pool safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Drownings are a leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 14, and three children die every day as a result of drowning. In fact, drowning kills more children 1 to 4 than anything else except birth defects.”

In a ten-year period from 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 drowning deaths in the United States each year. That’s more than 10 deaths per day!

Here at Cardio Partners and AED.com, we want to make sure that everyone stays safe this glorious summer!

Tip #1: Make Sure Your Poolside Guests Know How to Swim!

May is National Water Safety Month and we think it’s the perfect time to enroll your child in swim lessons. Here’s a statistic we can get behind: the CDC estimates that the risk of drowning is decreased by nearly 90% when young children take swimming lessons. Naturally, grown-ups and teens can benefit from refresher courses, First Aid classes, CPR certification, or lifeguarding classes. Check out your local Parks & Recreation schedule or try a nearby YMCA or Red Cross.

Tip #2: Invest in Personal Flotation Devices and Life Saving Equipment

If you have a pool, you need personal flotation devices and life-saving equipment. We recommend that all non-swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket or personal flotation device—even in the shallow end! We agree, those little donut-shaped swimmies and dinosaur floaties are super cute and noodles are tons of fun, but they’re not designed to prevent drowning.

Tip #3: Know the Signs of Drowning and Secondary Drowning

Contrary to every splashy Hollywood movie ever released, a person who is drowning probably won’t wave their hands in the air and cry desperately for help. They’ll be too busy trying to breathe to use that precious oxygen for shouting. More often than not, death by drowning is silent, so keep your eyes and your ears open.

Drowning Warning Signs

If your guest has gone silent and still in the water, check in and ask them to respond verbally. If the person is unable to respond, or their expression is blank, get them out of the water immediately!

Symptoms of Dry (or Secondary) Drowning

Dry drowning, or secondary drowning is also a very real danger. The American Osteopathic Association writes: “Dry and secondary drowning can occur after inhaling water through the nose or mouth. In cases of dry drowning, the water triggers a spasm in the airway, causing it to close up and impact breathing. Unlike dry drowning, delayed or secondary drowning occurs when swimmers have taken water into their lungs. The water builds up over time, eventually causing breathing difficulties.”

Tip # 4: Designate a “Lifeguard”

If you’re hosting a pool party, hiring a lifeguard may seem equal parts excessive and over-cautious, but it may be worth considering. First Aid and poolside CPR-certified lifeguards typically earn $10-15 an hour and are worth every penny in peace of mind. For smaller, family affairs, be sure to select a strong swimmer who is also CPR or First Aid certified as your designated watcher.

Tip #5: Invest in a First Aid Kit and an AED

There’s a reason why so many states have passed AED Legislation mandating the placement of AEDs in schools and sporting facilities. For a victim of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), an AED can be a lifesaver. AEDs are designed for use in a variety of adverse conditions.

If you need to use an AED on someone who has been swimming or has recently been pulled from the pool, remove any clothing and dry his or her chest as thoroughly as possible. Be sure there are no puddles around you, the patient, or the AED. Apply the pads and follow the device’s voice prompts. Every AED cautions responders and bystanders to stand clear of the patient.

Tip # 6: Pick a Swim Buddy!

Younger kids should have always have a swim buddy! Make sure your young swimmers can identify their swimming buddy and encourage clear communication. Even with the buddy system in place, never leave children unattended in the pool.

Tip # 7: Safety First!

You should check your local ordinances to make sure that your pool enclosure is in compliance with local regulations. Always securely lock your pool area when you’re not using it. And finally, make sure that you have access to a phone (preferably a water-resistant one) at all times in the case of an emergency.

Tip #8: Jump On In! (Feet-first, of Course!)

Diving headfirst into swimming pool can result in serious injury or death. Teach children how to jump into a pool feet-first and away from the pool’s concrete edge. Cannonballs are encouraged!

Get yourself pool-ready and water-safe. Enroll in a First Aid and AED Certification course today. Call our team at 866-349-4362 or visit AED.com or CardioPartners.com for more information.