Take the plunge and start a swimming pool safety campaign!

By Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Like wildfire season, it’s been hot for so long, it seems like Summer is now year-round. The worst part is that August isn’t even here yet! Many people are spending their time in pools to beat the heat. Unfortunately, there is a dangerous side to summer and swimming pools.

Drowning incidents are dramatically on the rise locally and statewide. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 390 deaths a year on average are attributed to drowning in a swimming pool or at a spa. 

Parents whose children have drowned say the day of the tragedy started out just like any other day. No matter how the drowning happened or where it happened -- pool, spa, or any other body of water -- one thing was the same, the seconds that claimed their child's life slid by silently, without warning, it happens just like that and can never be brought back.

Drowning is preventable! This is a great time for you and your agency to start a Swimming Pool Safety Campaign in your community.

Children drown without a sound. Drowning is a quiet event. There is no splashing, no screaming, and no noise at all.

What can you do to prevent drowning incidents?

Follow the ABC’s of water safety:

A = Adult Supervision.  Assign an adult Water Watcher to always keep their eyes on those in the water. Never allow them to swim alone!

B = Barriers such as fences, self-closing and self-latching gates, pool motion sensors, window, and door alarms.

C = Classes.  Parents and Caregivers should take CPR and First Aid, and swimming courses that are available for both children and adults.

A special shout to the professional men & women of the Orange County Fire Authority for some great videos on drowning prevention https://lnkd.in/gWjkwr_k Thank you Chief Fennessy and the members of the OCFA!

Lastly, when paddle boarding, ocean swimming, or surfing make sure you tell someone when you are leaving, when you are returning and your destination.

So, dive in and start a swimming pool safety campaign in your community!

Chief Sam DiGiovanna is a 35-year fire service veteran. He started with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, served as Fire Chief at the Monrovia Fire Department, and currently serves as Chief at the Verdugo Fire Academy in Glendale. Passionate about public safety and risk management, he also is a consultant for Lexipol www.Lexipol.com & Fortress North America Fortress