Firefighters use water to put out fires, but on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., they’ll use it to demonstrate the critical importance of pool safety during their “Children Drown Without a Sound” event at Fire Station 126 in the City of Santa Clarita.
“This will be a family fun day for the whole community, with an old-fashioned barbecue, water balloon toss and other summertime games for kids, portable swimming pools, giveaways and a fire hose squirt – what’s a fire station event without that?” says Stephanie English, community services liaison for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Watch LA County firefighters “rescue” a young drowning victim, listen to a real 9-1-1 drowning call and hear from a family about the loss of their own child during a drowning incident last year. Radio Disney performers will entertain the audience and distribute “Safety Smart in the Water” movies, and Stewie the Duck will help kids learn to swim for safety. Local vendors and educators will offer free help and prevention ideas, and discounts to make your pool safer, and the American Heart Association will register residents for CPR classes.
LACoFD is proud to partner with many local and regional organizations, including the City of Santa Clarita, Stewie Children’s Charities, Radio Disney, The National Drowning Prevention Alliance, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and the Swim for Life Foundation, to bring this event to the community.
For more information, contact LACoFD Community Services Liaison Stephanie English at (661) 287-3690, or the Public Information Team at (323) 881-2411.
GET THE FACTS FROM L.A. COUNTY FIRE
– Drowning is the number one cause of death in children under 5, and the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children between the ages of one and 14.
– Most child drowning deaths occur in a familiar backyard. More than 50% of these drownings take place in the child’s home pool.
– More than 80% of drownings for children between the ages of 0-4 occur in residential swimming pools.
– Approximately 75% of drownings occur under a brief lapse of parental supervision, usually less than 5 minutes.
– Young children tend not to splash or make noise when they get into trouble in the water and thus usually drown silently.
– Most children who drown in pools were last seen inside the home, had been out of sight less than 5 minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at the time.
How young children drown varies by age:
– Children under age one most often drown in bathtubs, buckets and toilets.
– Children aged 1-4 most often drown in swimming pools, hot tubs, and spas.
– Children aged 5-14 most often drown in swimming pools and open water, such as lakes and rivers.
Pool Safety Tips from the National Drowning Prevention Alliance
– Never leave a child unattended near water in a pool, tub, bucket or ocean. There is no substitute for adult supervision.
– Designate a “Water Watcher” to maintain constant watch over children in the pool during gatherings.
– The home should be isolated from the pool with a fence at least 60” tall, with a self-closing, self-latching gate. The gate should open away from the pool, and should never be propped open.
– Doors and windows should be alarmed to alert adults when opened. Doors should be self-closing and self-latching.
– Power-operated pool safety covers are the most convenient and efficient. Solar/floating pool covers are not safety devices.
– Keep a phone at poolside so that you never have to leave the pool to answer the phone, and can call for help if needed.
– Learn CPR and rescue breathing.
– Keep a life-saving ring, shepherd’s hook and CPR instructions mounted at poolside.
– Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
– Never leave water in buckets or wading pools.
– If a child is missing, always check the pool first. Seconds count.
– Remove toys from in and around the pool when not in use.
– Don’t use floating chlorine dispensers that look like toys.
– Instruct babysitters about potential pool hazards, and emphasize the need for constant supervision.
– Responsibilities of pool ownership include ensuring children in the home learn to swim, and that adults know CPR.
– Do not consider children “drown proof” because they’ve had swimming lessons.
For other tips and information, please contact the Los Angeles County Fire Department Public Information Team at (323) 881-2411. We are now on Facebook and Twitter!
Pool Safety Resources
– National Drowning Prevention Alliance
– American Red Cross
– American Heart Association
– Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Injury Prevention & Control
– Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities
– U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
– The National Pool and Spa Institute