Pool safety saves lives - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Pool safety saves lives

June 7, 2008

Albany -- The sounds of children splashing and laughing is a staple during hot weekends in Southwest Georgia. "It's real hot and you want to get wet," said 9-year-old Chris Ware. 

But before anyone jumps in, "You're not suppose to run, not jump on people and not jump in the water," said Ware, set the ground rules to prevent any accidents.

Swimming lessons should be the first line of defense against trouble in the water. "Young kids feel intimidated when other kids can swim and they can't. So they jump in the pool and wind up being a drowning victim," said Assistant Supervisor of Dougherty EMS, Steve Ebel.

But teaching your children how to swim doesn't make them drown proof and should never be a replacement to adult supervision. It's important to never turn your back to kids in a pool because you never know what can happen. "You might hurt yourself," said Ware.

And in case someone is drowning use a life saver, pool skimmer or long stick to get to them. "When someone is drowning their main survival is staying above water. So they may be thrashing about, and if they get a hold of you they may take you under with them," said Ebel.

And once you retrieve the victim get help fast. "They need to immediately call 911 and initiate CPR. The new CPR is 30 to 2, 30 compressions to two breaths. And do that until we arrive," said Ebel.

This shouldn't just apply to children. "We see them from young to old," said Ebel. So be sure to always keep a watchful eye for anyone in the water to keep this summer safe.

Paramedics also recommend that anyone who has been consuming alcohol should avoid getting into the water because drinking and swimming is often a fatal mix.

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