Community Safety Zone

Welcome to June’s Community Safety Zone!

With summer just around the corner, this month’s column will focus on water safety at the pool. Several Navan residents have backyard pools to cool off during the warm summer weather. Following a few water safety rules, even in our own backyard pool, can greatly reduce the risk of injuries and drowning. Here are some general rules :

Take swimming lessons
This may seem obvious but many people overestimate their strength, stamina and skill level who it comes to swimming. Ensuring you and your children are equipped with the right training and experience to know your capabilities and when to call it quits for the day is essential. Watch children at all times.

Backyard pools are, in fact, one of the most likely places for children under 5 yrs of age to drown. According to the Lifesaver Society, while 61% of drowning deaths for children 5 and under involved them being alone near water, 53% of these deaths occurred during a momentary absence or lapse of a caregiver’s attention. Many people assume they would hear shouting or splashing when a drowning begins but unfortunately many are completely silent.Be sure to keep watch on young children.

Learn CPR and First Aid
When it comes to your own personal pool, the lifeguard on duty is you. Knowing how to perform simple first aid and CPR on children and adults using your pool could save lives. It is also a great idea to have another person in your home trained in these skills in the event they need to assist you!

Equip your pool with safety devices
For poolside emergencies or injuries, have a first aid kit, flotation devices and a phone close by at all times. Having gates and or ladders that lock and prevent access to the pool area helps with safety.

Enforce family “pool rules”
Create a checklist for the whole family to follow when they’re using the pool. Some rules to consider include:
• No running, diving or rough housing near the pool
• No swimming alone
• No glass or sharp breakable objects in the pool area

Make sure everyone is on board and follows the rules your family comes up with together.

Also, remind your child to stay away from ditches, creeks, rivers and lakes. During Spring and Fall, water levels can be be higher than usual and are often accompanied by soft, slippery banks that are treacherous, particularly for younger children.

We appreciate hearing your comments, receiving your concerns and taking suggestions for future Community Safety Zone topics. Please feel free to email us at safety@navan.on.ca

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