When you live in Southern California, almost every season is swim season! Unlike other areas of the United States, we have year-round access to beautiful beaches and recreational swimming. How lucky are we! However, it’s super important for everyone to know the basics of water safety because today in America the #1 cause of accidental death in children under 5 is drowning.
On this week’s episode of A Circle in a Square, Julie Lopiccolo, founder of the Jasper Ray Foundation, shared her emotional story of her son losing his life by drowning and how she turned this tragedy into an organization that creates awareness and saves lives. She also shared important drowning prevention tips to keep in mind once we start visiting beaches and attending pool parties again.
Since we are coming off of National Water Safety Month, we thought before you hit the beach this summer that we should share some of Julie’s tips, as well as a few of our own so everyone can have a safe and fun summer spent in the cool, refreshing water.
Take Swimming Lessons
From toddlers to seniors, everyone who lives in Southern California should learn how to swim. Not only is swimming a great life skill, it’s a great form of exercise! Get your kids into lessons early so they can safely enjoy one of our most fun summer activities. The YMCA offers swim lessons for all levels of swimmers. And the Jasper Ray website has a list of local swim schools.
Knowing how to properly perform CPR is one of the easiest things you can do to save a life. It’s the most effective way to help someone who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped functioning. OC Safety is an American Heart Association-authorized training center that offers online registered classes or On-Site CPR & First Aid training.
Never leave a child unattended near a body of water. If there are children by the pool, there must always be a parent or guardian who is the “designated watcher.” Trade-off this duty every 15 minutes with other adults who know how to swim. It’s an easy way to be proactive in providing your child with a safe environment to enjoy!
Fence the Pool
Do you have a pool in your backyard? If you have your own children or have children visiting, you MUST have a pool fence. All pools and spas should have access to the water safeguarded by a 5-FOOT HIGH FENCE. The fence should be transparent and children should not be able to climb under the fence to get to the pool.
Play Water Safety Games
Water safety games are a great way to have fun with your kids and get them comfortable in the water. Have a water scavenger hunt with pool toys like water balloons, buoys, or weighted pool toys that the kids must retrieve and bring back to you. If you have older children, you can have a race where the kids push a beach ball across the pool!
If you’re interested in learning more water safety and drowning prevention tips from Julie Lopiccolo, please listen to this week’s segment of Peeling Back the Layers now streaming on iTunes and Spotify. Also, if you are interested in learning more about the Jasper Ray Foundation and how you can donate or volunteer, visit their website.
Have a safe and fun summer, everyone!
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