Water safety: know your water skills and tips on what to do when drowning

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Drownings are a leading cause of death for children, according to the American Red Cross. Be “water smart”. Children and adults should learn to swim so, at a minimum, they achieve the skills of water competency.

Never leave your children alone near water. Keep a gate enclosed around your swimming pool and make sure it’s locked when not in use.

Follow these steps to achieve the skills of water competency:

  1. Step or jump into the water over your head.
  2. Return to the surface and float or tread water for one minute.
  3. Turn around in a full circle and find an exit.
  4. Swim 25 yards to the exit without stopping
  5. Exit from the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder.

A person who is drowning has a better chance of survival if these steps are followed:

  1. Recognize the signs of someone in trouble and shout for help
  2. Rescue and remove the person from water without putting yourself in danger
  3. Call 911
  4. Begin rescue breathing and CPR
  5. Use an AED (Advanced Electronic Defibrillator), if available, and transfer care to advanceced life support

For water safety courses, tips and resources, you can visit www.redcross.org/watersafety.

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