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Drowning Prevention

Environmental Health Services

Drowning prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Drowning can be a silent catastrophe, one that can happen in the few minutes it takes to answer a phone call or run inside for a towel. The 3 main layers of drowning prevention are:

Layer 1. Supervision:  Supervision, the first and most crucial layer of protection, means someone is always actively watching when a child is in the pool or around other bodies of water.

Layer 2. Barriers:  A child should never be able to enter a pool area unaccompanied by a guardian. Barriers physically block a child from a pool. It is also important to avoid drain entrapments. Do not let your children play or swim near drains or suction outlets.

Layer 3. Emergency Preparedness:  The moment a child stops breathing there is a small, precious window of time in which resuscitation may occur, but only if someone knows what to do. Even if you are not a parent, it is important to learn CPR. The techniques are easy to learn and can mean the difference between life and death. In an emergency, it is critical to have a phone nearby and immediately call 911.

Every year, nearly 90 children drown inside the home, and two-thirds of these deaths occur in the bathtub. A child can drown in as little as 2 inches of water, and it happens quickly and silently. Every one of these tragedies is preventable. The PSA below demonstrates the importance of constant supervision. Parents and guardians should never leave a child alone in the bathtub or near any container of water. Turning their backs for a moment can change their lives forever. Please watch this video by The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:  CPSC’s new PSA on how to prevent in-home drownings.

Swim lessons are offered by several groups within our community.

To obtain more information on drowning prevention, please visit:
http://www.waterprooffl.com/
http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/prevention/drowning-prevention/index.html
http://www.poolsafely.gov/
http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html