Wishing You A Fun And Safe Summer!

Now that the summer season is upon us, many San Diegans are outdoors enjoying water activities, such as swimming at a pool, visiting the waterpark, or taking a dip at the beach. While I urge you to enjoy all these activities that accompany summer in San Diego, I would also like to remind you to remain attentive when your child is around water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related deaths among children ages five and under, with an average of 51 new deaths per year in California.

Young children between one and four years of age most commonly drown in swimming pools, yet a drowning accident can happen in any body of water. Children can drown in water as little as one inch high, and even children who know how to swim may drown a few feet from safety.

Drowning is a silent killer, and it can happen quickly, with no warning or splashing sounds associated with an accident. Careful vigilance, however, can prevent these tragedies. This summer, you and your child can be better prepared for water activities with these simple SILENT safety rules from the State of California Department of Developmental Services.

S – Swim Skills – Teach your child to swim at an early age, as backyard swimming pools account for over half of drowning deaths for children 0-5 years of age each year.
I – Install Alarms – Install alarms on house doors and around pool area.
L – Layers of Protection – Layers of protection include adult supervision, fences, gates, latches, safety pool covers, education, throwing aids, and rescue techniques.
E – Eye – Adults should keep a constant eye on a child in or near any water including bathtubs, buckets, toilets, ponds, spas, and pools.
N – Never Leave a Child Alone – Never leave a child alone near water. Check the pool first if a child is missing.
T – Touch – Designate an adult to be close enough to reach out and touch the child.

It is vital that you follow these important drowning prevention practices to protect your child. These lifesaving steps include constant supervision of your child in and around water, the use of pool fencing and personal floatation devices, and learning to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). You can sign up to take CPR and other important live saving classes by visiting the local American Red Cross here.

For more information, visit the State of California Department of Developmental Services Drowning Prevention page at www.dds.ca.gov/drowning, or visit http://drowningpreventionfoundation.com/.

Wishing you a fun and safe summer!

Alethea Arguilez