With summer on tap, it’s essential to remember safety in and around the water. Last year alone, there were 106 drowning cases – 39 of them were fatalities, according to Orange County Fire Authority Division Chief Jeff Adams. Sadly, across the country, 10 children per day drown. The City of Aliso Viejo is working to ensure residents know how to prevent these preventable tragedies. Please see the following tips and links for important water safety information.
First and foremost, remember the Safer3 — Safer Water, Safer Kids, Safer Response.
Safer water means identifying where the risks are with any body of water (bathtubs, hot tubs or spas, pools, lakes, rivers or oceans) and learning how to reduce those risks by installing barriers, pool alarms and covers, placing locks on gates, emptying or draining containers of water in and around the house and teaching children about the risks and how to make safer choices when around water.
For safer kids, we need to reduce the risks for children around all bodies of water, large and small. Children must be actively supervised at all times, including when near a frontyard ditch, kiddie or public pool, lake or ocean. Children must know, understand and practice safe behaviors when in or near water. Learning to swim reduces risks around water, but cannot replace supervision or safe behavior.
There is always a risk when you are around water. Safer response can lower the risks of severe consequences like drowning. For adults, safer response includes learning CPR, first aid and other emergency response techniques. It also includes having a phone available and safety equipment by the pool at all times. Equally important is having an Emergency Action Plan. The entire family needs to know and practice that plan.
Children need to work with the family to develop an EAP – Emergency Action Plan and review it periodically. This requires role playing and practicing so responses are natural reactions. Kids should be able to dial 911, explain the emergency and give the address and phone number of the residence. They should know where to locate an adult for help. They should be aware of objects they could throw into the water as floatation devices to help a person who is at risk. Children should understand that they should NEVER go into the water and attempt saving the person themselves.