The weather is HOT, and the City of Douglas Fire Department and Police Department want to urge citizens to practice water safety. Swimming is a popular summer activity and drowning can happen quickly and suddenly.
“Any source of water is a drowning hazard, especially for young children and weak swimmers,” says Fire Chief Larry Wilson. “We urge all citizens to be watchful around water and if there is an emergency, please call 911 immediately.”
Citizens should understand the risks of water activities. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years. Drowning can happen in less than 5 minutes and in the care of parents. Know the hazards and make sure children stay away from water without adult supervision. Parents should maintain constant supervision and avoid distractions when supervising children around water. Along with supervision, children who cannot swim or are weak swimmers should wear a US Coast Guard approved life jacket around water. Access to unguarded non-designated swim areas should be blocked by a gate or fence. Avoid alcohol consumption around water, it impairs judgment, affects swim and diving skills, and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
“Anyone watching children who are in or around water must understand that drowning can happen without notice,” says Police Chief Shane Edmisten. “Constant supervision of children should be maintained anytime around water.”
When around water, if a child goes missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability. Teach your children the basic water safety tips, enroll them in swim lessons as soon as possible, share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors and create a pool safety toolkit for your home. Be prepared by learning CPR and understanding the basics of life-saving to help if a pool emergency should occur.