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American River Messenger

Safe Swimming Tips for Families

Jul 28, 2022 12:00AM ● By Sac County News Release

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - In California, every year, dozens of families tragically lose a child under the age of five to drowning.

Children often drown silently in minutes. Often, they do not yell for help, as is often assumed. You can prevent a drowning tragedy by following the ABCs of drowning prevention.

First: Adult Supervision. Adult supervision is key to drowning prevention. Assign an adult “water watcher” who knows how to swim. Provide adult supervision 100 percent of the time when children are in or near the water. Know where your children are at all times. Sixty-nine percent of children who drown in swimming pools were not supposed to be in or around the water. If a child is missing, check the pool first. Water wings, noodles, inner tubes and life jackets should never take the place of adult supervision. 

Second: Barriers. Install, check and always use a child-proof barrier around your pool and/or spa area. A barrier should consist of a 5-foot tall, non-climbable fence with self-closing, self-latching gates. Keep chairs, tables and other climbable items away from the pool barrier.

C: CPR and Classes. Learn CPR and rescue breathing. To find CPR classes contact your local Red Cross chapter, family resource center, or American Heart Association. Make sure all children and adults in your family go to swim lessons and water safety training. These classes do not take the place of the need for adult supervision.

And don’t forget, Sacramento County ordinance requires any child under 13 to wear a life vest before accessing any public waters, like lakes and rivers. Bring a life vest to the river for each of your children. If you forget a life vest, you can borrow one from one of the many borrowing stations along the American River.

Help protect your children from these preventable tragedies; learn the ABCs of drowning prevention. Your child’s life depends on it.