According to Safe Kids Worldwide, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between one and four years old. August is Drowning Impact Awareness Month, and Golder Ranch Fire District will be wearing purple ribbons and purple bracelets to remind the public that there is no replacement for adult supervision.
GRFD also challenges every resident to adopt the ABCs of water safety as their personal water safety guidelines.
Adult supervision (A) means always designating an adult to watch over any kids playing in the pool, hot tub or any other body of water and to make sure the adult always knows where the children are in and around the house.
Even with adult supervision, it is important to have a proper barrier (B) around the pool that is at least 60 inches tall with a self-closing gate. If feasible, automatic closing pool covers are also a great safety option, as are alarms on back doors and windows to know if anyone is heading in or out.
Poolside safety goes beyond supervision and physical barriers. Taking CPR classes (C) and other rescue technique courses may one day be a vital, lifesaving bit of knowledge if the unthinkable does occur. While no one is “drown-proof,” having children take swimming classes is also advisable and will help them become more comfortable in the water.
There’s one more bit of advice we can supply: limit distractions and keeping vital lifesaving devices while around the pool. While any supervising adult should always have a phone on-hand in case of an emergency, making sure that the phone or similar device does not become a source of distraction is just as important. Rescue devices like life jackets or other emergency flotation devices may one day be needed, and it is always better to have and not need.
Additionally, designate an adult “Water Watcher” at backyard gatherings and swim parties to watch children in the water. A drowning only takes a moment, is completely silent and is 100 percent preventable. Supervision saves lives.
Anne-Marie Braswell is the Golder Ranch Fire District Community Relations Manager.