There are few more enjoyable and rewarding activities than getting into the water. It's great for our body, good for our health and it's just plain fun! The best way to relax is knowing what to do in the event that something goes wrong. Learning CPR is a helpful way to stay calm in a crisis.
Whether you enjoy the beach, indoor swimming facilities or a private pool, there's one golden rule: do everything you can to be safer around the water. It is those that know the facts about incidents and accidents around the water that are the best able to prevent them.
To stay calm and confident, it's necessary to understand the level of risk the pool can pose.
Drowning is the leading cause of death in America for children ages 1-4. Sadly, it's Floridians most of all who are victims of water-based accidents. In 2017, we were the nation's highest statistic for child drownings with 80% of the victims being less than 5 years old.
Adults can take comfort in two simple steps. The USA Swimming Foundation states how formal swimming lessons reduces the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%. If a child still finds themselves in trouble, then knowing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is an invaluable skill.
The differing nature of child CPR
Anyone who spends time around water should be trained and prepared to perform CPR. This is especially true for parents or caretakers of young children who are likely still gaining confidence around the water. Learning CPR is an invaluable skill that can be life saving in the event of an emergency.
It's a common misconception that there is one kind of CPR for everyone. In reality, there's a difference between CPR on adults and CPR on children, used for kids aged 1-8. Children naturally require a gentler approach: their head can't be tilted back too far due to their airway and neck being more fragile.
CPR on a child is a delicate procedure that, if administered prematurely, can hurt more than help. Children must not be breathing, be unconscious and have no pulse before CPR is administered. By staying focused and calm, the proper preparatory steps can be taken.
Where to learn CPR
This blog and any other online resource is only intended as a guide and is no substitute for a real class.
any institutions around the country offer CPR courses, so check with your local health provider or hospital, emergency services (fire, police and medical) or fitness center.
The American Heart Foundation or American Red Cross also offer information about courses near you. Some classes are free, while others may charge a fee. Remember that CPR can be learned in relatively few lessons and the return on your investment may prove priceless.
It is recommended to regularly review CPR techniques and renew training every two years to reinforce training and preparedness.
Pool safety checklist
Knowing CPR is a fantastic start on pool safety. When it comes to the water itself, there are a few key steps toward responsibility. Every time children are around water, always have one adult designated to keep an eye on them at all times.
It's all too easy for adults to turn away and allow dangerous accidents to quickly occur. A matter of seconds can make a life-saving difference so always make sure a designated adult remains vigilant.
Surrounding the pool with a fence and gate will help prevent children getting into the water without supervision. Every pool will have a drain and other openings which present a risk of kids becoming trapped. Make sure they're adequately covered. Also, always ensure that you have proper safety equipment around the pool and you always have a phone on hand in case you have to call emergency services.
To maximize your child's safety, make sure they can swim! Gaining early confidence in the water gives children the best tools possible to remain calm and capable in the pool.
It's important to remember that your CPR skills will need frequent practice and revision. For further reading, The American Heart Association reminds us that CPR guidelines are constantly improving and offer this updated resource.
Come and gain confidence with us!
If you're looking for expert and friendly coaching on water skills, we're here to help! Since 1994, Ocaquatics Swim School has been dedicated to teaching families to love swimming and become safer, more comfortable and more responsible around the water. To learn more about us or register for a class, please get in touch.