First Aid for Drowning: Saving Lives
As the temperatures soar during the Australian summer, the risk of drowning incidents, especially among children in pool areas, tends to rise. A lack of First Aid for drowning knowledge is insufficient poolside safety combined with a lack of basic CPR knowledge can turn a beautiful summer’s day into a tragic one. The most heart-breaking aspect is that the majority of these drowning incidents are preventable.
This summer, let’s be proactive and take action. Simple Instruction offer nationally accredited first aid training courses readily available, offering life-saving lessons for emergency situations, including child CPR. You have the power to invest a small amount of your time in acquiring essential first aid and CPR skills, enabling you to save a drowning person’s life or even prevent such situations altogether.
Pre-Summer Swimming Pool Check: Ensuring Safety
If you have a pool on your property, you bear a significant responsibility. It is your duty to ensure the pool area is secure and safe, especially for young children. You are the unofficial guardian of the pool’s safety.
To safeguard your pool for the swimming season, adult supervisors should:
- Check Pool Gates: Ensure that pool gates automatically close and never prop them open.
- Inspect Fences: Make sure all surrounding fences are secure.
- Clear Pool Surroundings: Maintain a minimum distance of 1 meter between outdoor furniture and the pool fence.
- Remove Climbable Items: Scan the area to identify any items that could be used by a child to climb over the pool fence. Children can be quite resourceful.
Poolside Kids: Vital Safety Advice
Child drownings are devastating, and the fact that most of them are preventable makes the situation even more heart-wrenching. If you are a parent, grandparent, older sibling, aunt, uncle, babysitter, or family friend, it’s essential to prioritise safety by the poolside whenever possible.
Here are some vital safety steps to follow when supervising children in a pool area:
- Never Assume: Never assume that someone else is watching your children. The responsibility is on you.
- Teach Pool Safety: Show kids how to hold on to the pool edge when swimming, allowing them to access a step to safety.
- Avoid Distractions: Refrain from using smartphones or other distractions while supervising. These distractions can be life-threatening.
- No Alcohol: The supervisor should never be under the influence of any substance, particularly alcohol.
- Crowded Pools: Don’t assume that a crowded pool is a safe pool; drownings can occur in busy environments too.
- Maintain Visibility: Keep the pool in your line of sight, as the sound of someone drowning is often silent.
As a parent or guardian, you can enhance your child’s awareness of safe swimming by introducing them to the water from a young age. Additionally, as an adult, you can increase the chances of saving a child’s life (or the life of another child) by learning CPR techniques through a nationally recognized CPR course or completing a first aid delivery course. Refreshing your CPR knowledge is a crucial step in ensuring you’re well-prepared.
Swimming Pool First Aid: An Essential Skill
First aid for drowning is an indispensable skill for any parent with a child who swims or a baby learning to swim. Drowning is the primary cause of injury-related deaths among children aged 1 to 4, and it ranks as the second leading cause of death in children under 14. Children are particularly vulnerable because of their curiosity and attraction to water, combined with a limited understanding of the associated risks. Being prepared and knowing what to do in case of a near-drowning incident can make all the difference.
Did you know that a small child can drown in as little as 5 cm of water, enough to cover their face and nose? As a pool owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that basic first aid equipment, including a first aid kit and a flotation device, is available near the pool.
First Aid for drowning – What to Do in an Emergency
If your child has been submerged in the water, your first priority is to get them out of the swimming pool and check if they are breathing. If they are not breathing, place your child on a hard surface, call for help, and begin performing CPR. Never assume it’s too late to save a child’s life; continue performing CPR until medical professionals take over. Every parent should be knowledgeable in CPR, especially if they have a swimming pool at home.
If you don’t know CPR, here are some steps to follow:
First Aid for Drowning Opening the Airway:
- For infants under age 1: Place your mouth over the infant’s nose and lips and give two breaths, each lasting about 1 1/2 seconds. Watch for the chest to rise and fall.
- For children 1 and older: Pinch the child’s nose and seal your lips over their mouth. Give two slow, full breaths (1 1/2 to 2 seconds each). Wait for the chest to rise and fall before giving the second breath.
Checking for a Pulse:
- Put two fingers on your child’s neck (for infants, feel inside the arm between the elbow and shoulder) to the side of the Adam’s apple. Wait five seconds. If there is a pulse, give one breath every three seconds. Check for a pulse every minute and continue rescue breathing until the child is breathing on their own or medical help arrives.
If There Is No Pulse:
- For infants under age 1: Imagine a line between the child’s nipples and place two fingers just below its center-point. Apply five chest compressions in about three seconds. After five compressions, seal your lips over your child’s mouth and nose and give one breath.
- For children 1 and older: Use the heel of your hand (both hands for a teenager or adult) to apply five quick chest compressions to the middle of the breastbone, just above where the ribs come together, in about three seconds. After five compressions, pinch your child’s nose, seal your lips over their mouth, and give one full breath
To learn more about how you can be prepared this Summer book into a First Aid or CPR course with Simple Instruction.