Hi everybody. I should warn you that today's post is of a serious nature. Not to be a buzz kill, but my message is an important one. I am dedicating today's blog to a very special person.
See that cute blond kid in the photo above? That is my Uncle Mike when he was a wee lad. Today marks the day 30 years ago when he had a near drowning accident that changed everything.
No need to get into the details, but lets just say Uncle Mike was not being properly supervised by the human he was with, around a pool that had a hole in the fencing big enough for a four year old to get through.
This is Uncle Mike with Mom last Fall...
You see, the reason they call it a near drowning, is that although he stopped breathing, and his heart stopped that day, Michael didn't die. He was resuscitated by his rescuers, but not before serious irreversible brain damage was done.
I love my Uncle Mike. I have been visiting him since I was just a puppy. I am always very gentle around him, and he really responds in kind.
The reason I share this with you today, is that I want to give Mom a chance to spread the word about how extremely important water safety is. I know my pug friends know this, because a lot of us just sink when it comes to swimming. Others enjoy the water, and are quite skilled at swimming. With us, it is instinct, but with human kids, they need to be taught. Taught to swim, and to always have an adult around when they go near the water. Thing is, that kids don't understand what can happen if they wander off without a grown up. That is why all grown ups need to make a commitment to keeping the kids safe.
It only takes a second!!!
Some tips from The American Red Cross
Make Water Safety Your Priority
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
- Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
- Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests.
- Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous.
- If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
- Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
- Prevent Unsupervised Access to the Water
- Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
- Ensure that pool barriers enclose the entire pool area, are at least 4-feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching and open outward, and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of a small child’s reach.
- If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.
- Remove any structures that provide access to the pool, such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment.
- Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.
Maintain Constant Supervision
- Actively supervise children whenever around the water—even if lifeguards are present. Do not just drop your kids off at the public pool or leave them at the beach—designate a responsible adult to supervise.
- Always stay within arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
- If you own a home pool or hot tub, have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
- Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.