Mario Vittone, a marine safety specialist with the U.S. Coast Guard, talks about the signs of drowning to look for because drowning doesn’t look like what movies and television show us. (To read the blog article, please click here.)
According to the American Red Cross, the Safe Kids Coalition and a number of other organizations that promote water safety, the number one way to prevent drowning is learning how to swim. For information on local places that teach swimming please click on the links below. In addition to providing learn-to-swim lessons, the American Red Cross also offers informational sessions on water safety that will help keep you and those around you safe in, on and near the water.
Some tips on preventing drowning from the Safe Kids Coalition:
- Actively supervise your children around water at all times, and have a phone nearby to call for help in an emergency.
- Make sure your pool has four-sided fencing and a self-closing, self-latching gate to prevent a child from wandering into the pool area unsupervised. In addition, hot tubs should be covered and locked when not in use.
- Install a door alarm, a window alarm or both to alert you if a child wanders into the pool area unsupervised.
- From the start, teach children to never go near or in water without an adult present.
- Enroll your child in swimming lessons after age 4 – typically the earliest age when they are likely to practice and retain information. Teach children how to tread water, float and stay by the shore.
- Make sure kids swim only in areas designated for swimming.
- Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool: they need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.
- Learn CPR and know how to respond in water emergencies.
For more information on water safety, signs of drowning, and local organizations that teach swimming, please check out the links below.
- American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.86f46a12f382290517a8f210b80f78a0/?vgnextoid=9e7bf837443d0210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default
- Safe Kids Coalition: http://www.safekids.org/safety-basics/safety-guide/water-safety-guide/
Learning to Swim:
- American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.53fabf6cc033f17a2b1ecfbf43181aa0/?vgnextoid=dd3f42171e1a1210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD&currPage=b16042171e1a1210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD
- the YMCA: http://www.ymcaofgreatersyracuse.org/programs/programs.aspx?ac=58
- City of Syracuse Parks and Recreations: http://www.syracuse.ny.us/parks/lessonsChildren.html