26/10/2016: Help prevent drowning
Drowning is one of the major causes of accidents resulting in serious injury and death in children. Parents should not be fooled into thinking that their child is safe just because he or she knows how to swim. In a many instances accidents in the pool can happen suddenly without warning even though the child can swim.
“Among the many extra-mural activities children will find themselves engaged in when not sitting in front of the television will be swimming”, says Councillor Michael Sun, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety.
Councillor Sun said that a large number of drownings happened in private pools and resorts and sadly most involved children.
It is very important that teachers, parents and guardians follow basic safety precautions especially if there is a swimming pool at home or at school:
1. Never allow your child to swim alone without any adult supervision. It is quite common to develop a cramp underwater or for accidents like for example, hitting your head while diving to occur. It is advisable that there should be persons around to help in such situations.
2. Do not allow children with no knowledge of swimming in or around the pool. For good pool safety make sure that all kids above the age of four attend a certified swimming class or at least learn basic flotation techniques and life saving techniques.
3. Enclose your pool with a fence and a gate which can be locked. Do not leave the pool open and accessible since children can fall inside. If the pool has a cover always ensure that it is completely covered and secured.
4. Avoid leaving your kids alone even with small portable pools or water bodies like buckets, fountains, and barrels. There is always a danger of drowning even in small bodies of water.
5. Spas and hot tubs must also be avoided especially in the case of younger children who are susceptible to overheating.
6. For good pool safety, you can make sure that there is always a life saving floating device handy near the pool. Also every parent should be conversant in basic CPR techniques in case of any accident as well as be vigilant of children.
In the unfortunate event that someone accidentally falls or has difficulty swimming, do the following:
Make sure it is safe for you to enter the water first then get the victim out of the water as soon as possible.
Handle the victim with care. Many submersion incidents are associated with neck injuries so keep movement to the back and neck to a minimum.
Assess to see if the victim is awake or not.
Check for breathing. If the victim is not breathing, administer two slow breaths ensuring the victim's chest starts to rise slightly.
If the victim shows no response to the rescue breaths, start CPR.
CPR is vita, even if it is an amateur administering it. Perform the manoeuvre until someone who is trained in advanced life support arrives and can take over.
Call or have someone call a recognized ambulance service as soon as possible during this sequence. Whoever calls for the ambulance must give the dispatcher accurate location of the incident and a contact number at the scene.
Never hang-up on the operator and always return to the rescuer to inform them that you have called for help.
Safety is our responsibility and the number to call is 10177 for any emergency.
Issued on behalf of Councillor Michael Sun
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety
City of Johannesburg
(011) 407 7226
082 467 9415