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Sadie Says-Frequently Asked Questions About Older Adult Issues

Safety first around the pool

Q.. Our grandchildren will be spending a lot of time at our new swimming pool, and although I am excited to have them over, I am also concerned about their swimming safety. What can I do to prevent a drowning?

A. Knowing and practicing swimming safety steps save lives. For many of us swimming is a fun and refreshing way to cool off during the hot dog days of summer. When most of us are enjoying time at the pool or beach, injuries aren’t the first thing on our minds. Tragically, 10 people die every day while swimming – nearly 3,400 each year.

Drowning is the leading cause of death 1- 4 years of age with most occurring in home swimming pools. Children account for 1 in 4 drowning deaths; nearly half are infants and toddlers. As the age goes up, so does the number of victims who drown in natural or open water settings like – lakes, rivers or oceans.

Parents and Grandparents may think that if their child is drowning, they will hear lots of splashing and screaming allowing them to come to the rescue. Many times however, children slip under water silently. Drownings can happen in a matter of seconds! Drowning prevention must be a priority! Multiple layers of protection saves lives.

– Stay Close, Be Alert and Watch: Always watch your children and never leave them unattended. Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings. Have a phone close by at all times. If a child is missing, check the pool first. Share safety instruction with family, friends and neighbors.

– Learn and Practice Water Safety Skills: Learn to swim. Know how to perform CPR on children and adults. Understand the basics of life saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency.

-Have the Appropriate Equipment: Install a fence around the perimeter of the pool or spa of at least four feet in height. Use self-closing and self-latching gates. Ensure all pools and spas have compliant drain covers. Install a door alarm from the house to the pool area Maintain pool and spa covers in working order. Have life-saving equipment such as life rings or reaching poles available for use.

Because you never know which safety step with save a life…until it does! Make this a SAFE KIDS summer!

— Sadie Says is provided by the Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition.­­

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