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Webster Emergency Medical Services (Webster EMS) Massachusetts

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Water Safety Tips

  • During the hot, lazy days of summer everyone likes to play in the water.

  • Swimming is a great activity, but did you know that drowning is the No. 2 cause of childhood injuries nationwide in children 14 and under?

  • In 2003, nearly 4,200 of these children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for accidental drowning-related incidents.

  • According to a recent study, nearly nine in 10 drowning-related deaths occurred while a child was being supervised.

  • Children can drown in as little as one inch of water, so they are at risk in bathtubs, toilets, pools, spas ó and even buckets with water or cleaning solution.

  • To prevent drownings around pools and hot tubs:

    • Never take your eyes off of children or leave them unattended in or around the pool.

    • Stay alert and avoid distractions such as reading or talking on the telephone.

    • Appoint a designated water watcher, taking turns with other adults.

    • Erect fencing on all sides of the pool or hot tub. The fence should be at least 5 feet tall with self-closing and self-latching gates.

    • When a hot tub is not in use, secure it with a locked cover.

    • Consider alarms for the pool/hot tub, and on doors and windows with access to the pool/hot tub.

    • Teach children to stay away from pool and hot tub drains; tie back long hair to guard against entanglement and entrapment.

    • To avoid entanglement or entrapment, install anti-entrapment drain covers and consider a safety vacuum release system.

    • Enroll your child in swimming lessons after age four when they are more likely to retain information.

    • Donít rely on water wings or other inflatable toys.

    • Find out when and where diving is allowed. Never dive in water less than nine feet deep.

    • Learn infant and child CPR and keep life-saving equipment by the pool or hot tub.

  • To prevent drownings around open water:

    • Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when swimming or participating in water sports.

    • Make sure the life jacket fits snugly and doesnít allow the childís chin or ears to slip through the neck opening.

  • Teach children how to tread water, float and swim out of a cross-current.

  • Learn infant and child CPR and keep life-saving equipment accessible.