July 11, 2014

Maury Regional offers tips on swimming pool safety


COLUMBIA, Tenn. — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the second leading cause of death for children ages one to 14 is drowning. With the summer in full swing, Maury Regional Medical Center would like to remind you of some guidelines for swimming pool safety and the importance of knowing how to perform life-saving measures.

“Drowning can occur in a matter of seconds. Never leave a child unattended in or near a swimming pool or any other area of water, even for a moment,” said Doug Rutherford of the Maury Regional Emergency Department. “Adults really must be diligent about monitoring children at all times when near water and must always be ready to take quick action if necessary. Knowing how to correctly perform CPR can mean the difference between life and death. Anyone who has a swimming pool or supervises children should take the time to learn CPR. In any emergency, the sooner life-saving measures begin, the greater the chances that the outcome will be positive.” 

Drowning can be prevented by following some important rules:

  • Designate a responsible adult to monitor children swimming or playing in or near the water. The supervising adult should not be distracted with other activities or be influenced by alcohol use.
  • Make certain that infants, toddlers and weak swimmers are within an arm’s reach at all times.
  • Never swim alone and choose pools that have lifeguards on duty, if possible.
  • Keep a telephone nearby in case of an emergency.
  • Consider enrolling children in formal swimming lessons, but do not have a false sense of security.
  • Remove floats, balls and other toys from the pool and surrounding area after swimming. This eliminates some of the temptation for a child to enter the pool area or lean over the pool’s edge to reach for a toy.
  • Install a four-sided fence around residential pools and consider installing motion detectors and alarms in the pool area.
  • Always check the pool first when a child cannot be immediately located.
  • Learn how to correctly perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

In the event of a potential drowning, have someone call 911 immediately. Until emergency help arrives, begin CPR by placing the heel of one hand on the center of the chest and pushing with both hands hard and fast about 100 times per minute. CPR should be continued until the person regains consciousness or a rescue team arrives.

Maury Regional Emergency Medical Services offers community CPR classes on a monthly basis at locations throughout Maury County. For information on upcoming classes, call 931.381.1111, extension 2608.