With the start of summer and warmer temperatures the Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH) and Department of Social Services (FCDSS) cautions swimmers to take steps to ensure water safety, including keeping a close watch on children and young adults. Drowning deaths among young children often happen when children access pools without supervision or when adults are distracted.

“Never leave children unattended in or near a pool, river, or lake, and never let children swim in canals or ponding basins,” said David Pomaville, Fresno County Department of Public Health Director. “Now is the time to take the necessary steps to prevent drownings wherever you and your family or friends gather for water recreation activities.”

According to the Water Safety Council, 20 to 30 people die from water-related injuries in Fresno County each year. Statistics show on average 10 of these victims are children between the ages of 1 and 18, and 20 percent of them will drown in family swimming pools and spas.

It is estimated that one out of every three Fresno homes has a swimming pool and one out of four of these families report “close calls,” where a child may have drowned or been seriously injured if he or she had not been rescued.

FCDPH and FCDSS reminds Sanger  residents of the following:

• Pools should have proper fencing with self-closing gates;

• For pool security, close and lock or latch gates or doors every time they are used;

• Never prop a gate or door open;

• Remove or lock ladders when above ground pools are not in use;

• For pool safety, keep an eye on all children around pools;

• Be familiar with and monitor all possible pool access points; and,

•  Designate one responsible adult for every five children in the water.

Drowning is the leading cause of preventable death for children ages 1 to 5 and the second leading cause of death in adolescents and adults ages 15 to 44. 

Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible. Learn CPR, keep a first aid kit poolside and maintain constant visual contact with children in or around a pool area.

For more information on water safety visit www.fcdph.org/water.

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