According to the Florida Department of Health, in Florida alone, enough children under the age of five drown each year to fill three to four pre-school classrooms. MCFR created the Prepare. Protect. Prevent. campaign to guard residents against this statistic by focusing on the three “P”s of water safety: preparing, protecting and preventing.
PREPARE: Adults can prepare themselves by learning basic CPR skills and prepare their children by enrolling them in swim lessons.
“A moment's inattention should not cost a child his life. Children as young as 6 months old can be taught to save their own lives if they reach the water alone,” said Nicole Meade, swim instructor and founder of Marion County Infant Swim Resource (ISR).
Learning CPR is another way parents and guardians can arm themselves against water tragedies. Hands-only CPR is simple to learn, is easy to remember and is proven to save lives.
PROTECT: Protect against drowning through supervision, pool alarms and pool fences.
Marion County Fire Rescue Chief Bart Walker said most drownings occur in the family pool due to easy access during an unsupervised moment.
Other precautions that can be taken to protect against the short time frame in which a drowning can take place include:
• Making sure pools and spas are enclosed on four sides with a fence at least 5 feet high with self-closing and latching gates
• Having anti-entrapment covers on all pool and spa drains
• Having a phone near the pool for emergency use
PREVENT: Preparing and Protecting lead to the third P – Prevention. By providing parents and guardians with easy access to drown-prevention resources and hands-only CPR instruction, MCFR and OFR hope to prevent future drownings.