Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | 4:56 p.m.
It only takes a few seconds to change the lives of a family forever. Unfortunately, that is all the time needed for a child to drown. Here are some astonishing facts about drowning:
- The vast majority of drowning deaths occur in the family pool.
- Typically, the child was last seen in a "safe" area far from the pool.
- The most common downing victim is a two-year-old male.
- These tragedies often occur while one or both parents are home.
- Drowning is "the silent killer" because there is often no cry for help and very little sound from splashing.
Consider the following safety tips and lessen the chance of this disaster happening to your family.
- Never leave a child unsupervised near any body of water.
- Install a fence separating your pool from the house and play yard.
- Designated an adult to supervise children around any water, especially at social gatherings.
- Never consider children to be "water safe" despite swimming skills, swimming lessons or experience.
- Floaties, swimmies, or other inflatable toys are not life jackets and should never be substituted for adult supervision.
- Keep toys, tricycles, and other playthings away from the pool or spa.
- Assure a clear view from the house to the pool or spa.
- Always completely remove the cover before using the pool or spa. Children can become trapped under the cover.
Remember, these tips don't just apply to pools, lakes or oceans. Any space with water can be dangerous, including washing machines, toilets and storm drains.
Bill Wilson, a firefighter-paramedic for the Boulder City Fire Department, can be reached at 293-9228.