As the mercury begins to rise, many folks will be opening up their backyard pools for the season.
But according to Cleveland Clinic Children’s pediatric emergency physician Purva Grover, M.D., if you have children nearby, it’s important to take necessary precautions to avoid a tragedy.
Know where your children are
Dr. Grover said that extra caution needs to be taken at backyard gatherings, where the atmosphere is more relaxed, and where most drowning accidents tend to occur.
“If you have a child in the house and you have a pool in the backyard or you are at a friend’s house where there is a pool, if your child goes missing for more than a couple of minutes and you can’t find your child, it’s important to check the pool first, because that could be life or death,” said Dr. Grover.
First minutes are crucial
If a child has fallen into a pool, the first few minutes are crucial.
Dr. Grover said that even if you don’t have children, being trained in C-P-R and being aware of your surroundings can help save a life.
If a child is found unresponsive, call 9-1-1 and start C-P-R as soon as possible, as immediate C-P-R has been shown to give a child a better chance of long-term recovery if resuscitation is not delayed.
It’s also important to know that a small child can drown in a matter of seconds in water as shallow as just a few inches.
Dr. Grover said that if a child’s face becomes submerged, they can lose consciousness and become unable to free themselves.
Don’t rely on floatation devices
Dr. Grover also cautions parents that the use of floatation devices can provide a false sense of security.
“I think it’s okay to use them, but we need to make sure that we understand as parents and they understand as swimmers and children that this is just a device, this does not make you invincible,” said Dr. Grover.
She said that when it comes to pool safety, the most important thing a parent can do is be present and be aware of where their child is at all times.