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Active Supervision Saves Lives

Did you know that May is National Water Safety Month? This is a time to increase our awareness about water safety and create water safe environments. Swimming pools are popular this time of year, however, they also pose a substantial danger, particularly for young children who may not be fully aware of the risks. In the US, an average of 3,500 to 4,000 people drown per year. That is an average of 10 fatal drownings per day. Drowning is fast, silent, and can happen in as little as 20-60 seconds.

But, there is good news! Drowning is preventable. With summer just around the corner, we recommend Active Supervision at all times, combined with the other ‘Layers of Protection’, listed below, to keep you and your family safe in and around aquatic environments

Layers of Protection

1. Active Supervision
When a parent/guardian focuses attention and practices intentional, close and constant observation of their children when they are in or around an aquatic environment. This means no phones and no distractions! There is no replacing Active Supervision; all other layers work in support to create a water safe environment.

2. Touch Supervision
When a parent/guardian stays within arm’s reach of their children at all-times. When possible, get in the water with your children while they swim. This will allow you to respond quickly if they need help.

3. Learn to swim
Children and parents/guardians should all aim to become competent swimmers to help prevent drowning.

4. Swim with a buddy
Never swim alone! No matter how experienced you are, always swim with a buddy. If you get a cramp or get injured there needs to be someone to help you or call for help.

5. Learn CPR
Parents/guardians should learn CPR to have skills and confidence to respond quickly and effectively in an emergency situation around the pool.

6. Create safety barriers
If you have a pool at home, the more “walls” you can put between people and the pool the better

7. Bathtub water safety
Active Supervision is required even in smaller bodies of water. Bathtubs, kiddie pools, and water tables are a source of danger for the youngest and most vulnerable among us.

8. Water watchers
When kids are near water, there should be a minimum of one adult “water watcher” present at all times. The individual should have their attention fixed on the pool. This means no phones, no books, no distractions. Twenty-three percent of child drownings happen during a family gathering near a pool.

Active Supervision saves lives! While it can be challenging to avoid distractions, children near water need the trusted parent/guardian’s undivided attention. Combining Active Supervision with the supporting Layers of Protection will help prevent drownings and create a water safe environment. Help create a water safe community by sharing this message with your friends! Together, we can!

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