Insurance Commissioner and Safe Kids NC Chairman Mike Causey wants parents and caregivers to know about the importance of water safety to prevent needless child drownings in pools and all bodies of water.
The beaches will be crowded this Memorial Day weekend. Remember to pay attention to the warning flags at the beach that indicate the possibility of rip currents. A rip current’s force is strong enough to pull even the strongest swimmer out to sea.
“Many families will be looking forward to activities at the beach or at a pool,” said Commissioner Causey. “I hope that everyone will take safety precautions to avoid tragedies in the water this Memorial Day weekend and during the summer.”
According to Safe Kids NC, drowning is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14. It is the leading cause of unintentional death in children under the age of 4.
If caught in a rip current, stay calm, don’t fight the current and escape the current by swimming in a direction parallel to the shoreline. If at any time you are unable to reach the shore, draw attention to yourself and call for help.
“Most people believe a drowning person involves flailing arms or frantic calls for help, but that is not the case, said Commissioner Causey. “Drowning happens quietly when a helpless person is unable to take a breath.”
Safe Kids NC estimates 10% of parents watch their children drown because they don’t know what’s happening. Rescuers have as little time as 20 seconds to save a person from drowning.
Commissioner Causey offers the following tips:
• Always watch children and never leave them unattended.
• Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings.
• Always keep a charged phone nearby.
• Know how to perform CPR on children and adults.
• Understand the basics of lifesaving so you can assist in an emergency.
• Install a fence at least four feet high around the perimeter of a pool or spa.
• Use self-closing and self-latching gates.
• Ensure all pools and spas have compliant drain covers. Install an alarm on the door leading from the house to the pool.