Summer's here again
“Marco.” “Polo.” “Marco.” “Polo.” How many times have parents heard those words from children at play in backyard swimming pools in the summertime? Countless times would be the reply from most. But why is that significant at this time? Because summer is upon us, and tragedy can strike during such fun activities often times with little or no notice. Here is some helpful information for a safe summer:
Childhood drowning and near-drowning can happen in a matter of seconds, and typically occurs when a child is left unattended or during a brief lapse of supervision. Severe and permanent brain damage affects as many as 20 percent of near-drowning victims. Make sure your family is safe around water by ensuring these safety basics:
Make sure pools and spas are enclosed on four sides with a fence at least 5 feet in height, with self-closing and latching gates.
Drains in pools and spas should have anti-entrapment drain covers.
Learn infant and child CPR, and always have a phone near the pool for emergency use.
Children should always swim under the supervision of a grown-up. Every child 3 years old and older should have swimming lessons.
An adult within arm’s reach should always supervise children using air-filled swimming aids.
A U.S. Coast guard approved lifejacket should be worn for water sports such as tubing, skiing or jet skiing. Air-filled aids such as inner tubes, water wings and inflatable rafts are not substitutes for approved lifejackets.
It is important for children to learn and practice water safety rules. Here are some helpful water safety rules for children:
Children should swim only if a lifeguard or a grown-up gives them permission.
Teach children to obey the posted rules.
Encourage children to:
Check with the lifeguard to find out how deep the water is.
Always swim with a buddy.
Never jump or dive unless the lifeguard or a grown-up says it is okay to do so.
Don’t eat candy or chew gum when swimming.
Never swim at night.
Get out of the water right away if you hear thunder or see lightning.
When on a boat, everyone needs a seat and his or her own U.S. Coastguard approved lifejacket.
The greater the number of precautions in place, the greater the chances are of averting disaster. How does one decide what’s too little, or what’s adequate, or perhaps more importantly, is there too much?
So what is the answer? Layers of protection. Layering might include, but is not limited to: education, supervision, barriers, alarms, teaching skills and emergency response. Education starts with parents, especially those with pools. It includes safety training around ponds, lakes, the ocean and even environments subject to bathing uses.
Supervision is nothing more than commitments by responsible adults to oversee the application of the education previously provided. This includes regular checks to areas in use by children around water, and a dedicated attitude that will never allow these areas to be left unattended for any period of time.
Barriers of some kind are now required by many model codes when pools are installed. And while a measure of help and safety, they only apply for new installations and do not necessarily apply to, nor are found at, many other areas where water is found. Pool covers and fences of varying kinds are available, and responsible adults and parents can get information on those by checking with local pool distributors. Remember that statistics indicate toddlers have drowned in as little as 4 inches of water— so we can’t be too careful.
Another safeguard is an alarm that monitors water activity and when turned on, if water has any significant movement (when it shouldn’t), an alarm sounds notifying adults of the activity.
Skills training are perhaps as good as any preventative effort. Teach children as soon as possible to swim and learn how to apply survival techniques. There are many civic groups and public entities that offer such training especially in the summer months.
Finally, emergency response preparations are most beneficial. Plan ahead how you will react if tragedy strikes. Get training in basic first aid and/or CPR from any of the many agencies offering such programs.
If you have any questions, call your local fire service agency and they will happily help you.
— Assistant Fire Chief Bart Wright, Maitland Fire Rescue Department
City Council Agenda of June 25, 2011
Approval of various meeting minutes
Approve Contract – Blue Ox Enterprises
Purchase of Replacement Generator for Water Plant No. 4
Lake Eulalia Water Quality Improvement Project
Contract – Feasibility Study – Grove Street Stormwater Improvements
Appointment – Elected Official – Police & Fire Pension Trust Fund Board
Appointment – Resident Members – Police & Fire Pension Trust Fund Board
Police Boat House Site Location
Pre Annexation Agreement – Don Reid Ford
National Historic Landmark – Maitland Art Center
For updates, please check our website at itsmymaitland.com