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The City of Titusville, Florida / Fire & Emergency Services / NewsDrowning Prevention Tips
Twelve Water Safety Facts:
1. Learn to swim.
Formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by as much as 88% among young children aged 1 to 4 years, who are at greatest risk of drowning. However, even when children have had formal swimming lessons, constant and careful supervision when they are in the water, and barriers to prevent unsupervised access, are necessary to prevent drowning.
2. Closely watch swimmers in or around the water.
Designate a responsible adult who can swim and knows CPR to watch swimmers in or around water--even when lifeguards are present. That adult should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, or talking on the phone) while watching children.
3. Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
APRIL - "DROWNING PREVENTION MONTH"
In the time it might take for lifeguards or paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could save someone's life.
4. Fence it off.
Barriers to pool access should e used to help prevent young children from gaining access to the pool area without caregivers' awareness when they are not supposed to be swimming. Pool fences should completely separate the house and play area from the pool, be at least 4 feet high, and have self-closing and self-latching gates that open outward, with latches that are out of the reach of children.
5. Use the "buddy system".
Regardless of your age, always swim with a buddy.
6. Look for lifeguards.
Select swimming sites that have lifeguards whenever possible.
7. Heed warning flags.
Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags. Remember, each beach flag may have a different meaning.
8. Know the terrain.
Be aware of and avoid drop-offs and hidden obstacles in natural water sites. Always enter water feet first.
9. Avoid rip currents.
Watch for dangerous waves and signs of rip currents, like water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from shore. If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore; once free of the current, swim diagonally toward shore.
10. Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets.
Do not use air-filled or foam toys, such as "water wings", "noodles" or inner-tubes in place of life jackets. These toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
11. Avoid alcohol.
Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children.
12. Don't hyperventilate.
Swimmers should never hyperventilate before swimming underwater or try to hold their breath for long periods of time. This can cause them to pass out (sometimes called shallow water blackout) and drown.