Carrollton Fire Rescue Encourages Pool Safety
The week before Memorial Day (May 20-26) has been designated Healthy and Safe Swimming Week and the month of May is National Water Safety Month. The goal of these efforts is to maximize the health benefits of swimming by minimizing the risk of illness and injury.
Everyone plays a role in preventing injuries and illnesses when it comes to the water we swim, play, and relax in. Just two hours and 30 minutes of physical activity every week, including water-based physical activity, can benefit an individual’s health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Studies have shown that children with asthma may have fewer symptoms when swimming regularly compared with other asthmatic children. Children also benefit socially from interacting with other kids in pools.
Swimmers can prevent fatal and non-fatal drowning by learning swimming skills, wearing life vests, and swimming under the close supervision of parents, caregivers, or lifeguards who know cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
According to the latest CDC statistics, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1-4 years, the second leading cause among ages 5-14 years, and ranks sixth overall among the leading causes of unintentional death in the United States. Three children die every day as a result of drowning.
From 2005-2014, there was an annual average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) in the United States – about 10 deaths per day, per CDC data. According to the report, about one in five people who die from drowning are children ages 14 years and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries. From 2015-2016, the annual average increased to 3,694, showing a more than 4 percent rise in two years over the average for the previous nine years.
Carrollton Fire Rescue (CFR) encourages parents to watch young children while in the bathtub and to designate a responsible adult to supervise their kids when swimming or playing in or around water. Water watchers for preschoolers should provide “touch supervision” – being close enough to reach the child at all times. Because drowning occurs quickly and quietly, adults should not be involved in any other distracting activities such as reading, being on the phone, or mowing the lawn while supervising children, even if lifeguards are present.
Formal swim lessons can protect young children from drowning. However, even with lessons, constant, careful supervision when children are in the water, and barriers, such as pool fencing to prevent unsupervised access, are still important.
Parents and caregivers are also encouraged to take CPR training. CFR offers training on the first and third Saturday of each month at Crosby Recreation Center (1610 E. Crosby Road) and also offers Basic First Aid training. The department has a goal for as many citizens as possible to obtain a CPR/AED course completion card, so they are extending a challenge to the local community: get trained, save a life. The next scheduled CPR/AED course is set for Saturday, June 1 from 9:15-11 a.m. and is $20 for residents and $22 for non-residents. The next scheduled Basic First Aid courses are set for Saturday, May 18 and Saturday, June 15 from 12:30-3:15 p.m. and are $15 for residents and $16.50 for non-residents.
For those needing a nationally-recognized course completion card required by an employer (such as a daycare worker), the next Heartsaver CPR/AED courses are Saturday, May 18 and Saturday, June 15 from 9:15 a.m. to 12 p.m. and cost $50 for residents and $55 for non-residents. Children ages 10+ are eligible to take any of these classes as well.
To register for the upcoming courses, visit cityofcarrollton.com/signupnow under the Education section. Visit cityofcarrollton.com/leisuremag to check out the newest issue of Carrollton’s Leisure Connections magazine for listings or pick up a magazine at a City facility.
Visit cityofcarrollton.com/poolsafety for more safety information and the theme for this year’s National Water Safety Month.