COVID 19 pandemic has forced more and more children to be kept home from schools and childcares. Children may be home for a protracted period. Children may be going to other caregivers who have water safety hazards without barriers in place.
COVID 19 pandemic is causing a great deal of added stress to parents/ caregivers. This stress can cause parents to be easily distracted with all the latest local and national news developments. Distracted caregivers can lead to unintentional tragedies – namely drowning. The weather is starting to warm up, increasing the likelihood of (and actual need for) outdoor activity.
Drowning does not discriminate. It happens to the Best Parents and the Best People. It is silent and preventable. Drowning takes seconds and it CAN happen to you or a loved one.
1-4 year olds are particularly susceptible to drowning as they often have incredible gross motor skills but lack the decision making skills to understand the consequences of their actions. The preponderance of 1-4 year old drowning deaths occur in pools and the vast majority of these deaths (~60-70%) occur when children are not expected to be swimming (known as Non-Swim times).
It is because of this that we must have multiple layers of protection to prevent curious toddlers’ access to the pool. These barriers include 4 sided pool fencing, high up door locks (i.e. chain lock), and alarms.
Please share with your loved ones these ABCs:
A – Active, Adult Supervision. There is NO substitute for Active supervision. Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention (look at your child not your phone). When they are several adults present and children are swimming use the designated Water Watcher strategy which designates an adult as the Water Watcher for a certain amount of time such as 15-30 minute intervals. IF YOUR CHILD IS MISSING - CHECK NEARBY POOLS AND OTHER WATER AREAS FIRST. SECONDS COUNT!
B- Barriers, Barriers, Barriers. We must follow the layers of protection to prevent the leading cause of death of children ages 1-4. We never know which layer of protection will save a life until it does, so please – layer up.
C – Classes & Coast Guard Approved Life Jacket. Currently with COVID-19 there are not going to be any offerings for water competency or CPR classes. If and when the pandemic subsides, parents should be provided with https://watersmartcollier.com/swimming-programs where certified ‘swim lessons’ can be found based on zip code. If parents or their children have special needs, be it developmental disabilities, language barriers, or religious/ ethical beliefs, they should directly contact area aquatic facilities. These classes do NOT drownproof a child.
Similarly, CPR classes will not be readily available during the COVID 19 epidemic. Parents can go to our website https://watersmartcollier.com/cprwhere they can watch short layperson videos on how to perform CPR on a child who has been involved in a drowning incident. Seconds count! Also, here is a cute way to teach your kids CPR while they sing and dance the BabyShark song
Thank you so much and please let us know stay safe & healthy!