Tag Archive for: CPR with rescue breaths

It’s summertime, and you know what that means: sun, swimsuits, and parties at the pool, which means pool party safety is a must! If you’re a pool owner or in the aquatics industry, you’re excited to help friends, family, and patrons enjoy a refreshing summer dip. However, pool parties are not all about fun and games; pool party safety must be a top priority. 

Here are 15 pool party safety tips to ensure everyone at your party can stay safe and make a splash!

1. Fence the Pool Area

A pool fence isn’t just for aesthetics; it’s the first layer of protection needed to prevent unintentional drowning incidents. It secures the area against unsupervised access to the water, particularly for young children and pets.
Since you can’t always keep your eyes on the water, it is essential to use physical barriers to restrict access and alarms to alert you. Click here to learn more about barriers and alarms as a layer of protection against drowning.

2. Regular Equipment Checks

It’s crucial to regularly check your pool equipment, like ladders, diving boards, and slides, to ensure they are safe and secure, especially if a pool party is about to happen. A faulty step or loose bolt can lead to accidents entirely preventable with routine inspections.

3. Display and Enforce Pool Rules 

The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes the importance of displaying pool rules as a preventative measure. Whether it’s a residential pool or a community facility, displaying pool rules is vital. 
No running, pushing, no swimming alone, or diving in shallow ends – these standard rules can prevent most pool-related accidents. To enforce these rules consistently and ensure everyone’s safety, download the NDPA pool rules signs.

4. Designate a Water Watcher

Even the most experienced swimmers can face difficulties. That’s why having constant and capable supervision is a must, especially when children are present. Adults should be actively watching the kids in the water, ready to step in immediately if something goes wrong. Remember, drowning is fast and silent, so this should be a direct responsibility for someone around the pool. If everyone is watching, no one is watching.

Identify the designated water watcher with one of our Water Watcher Tags. Just download, print, and be sure it is visible at all times.

5. Consider a Lifeguard 

For larger parties or public pools, consider having a certified lifeguard(s) on duty. They are trained to spot potential dangers and react swiftly in emergencies.

6. Conduct a Swim Test

Conducting a swim test is a great way to identify weak and non-swimmers. For weak or non-swimmers, a parent should be in the water with them at all times practicing touch supervision (being able to reach out and touch the child at all times).

7. Establish a Designated Swim Area

If your pool is large or has deep ends, guests should be instructed to keep weak and non-swimmers in shallow areas and practice touch supervision at all times.

8. CPR & First Aid Training

Accidents happen, and knowing basic first aid and CPR can make a big difference. Learning CPR with rescue breaths is critical if an aquatic emergency happens. Have a well-stocked first aid kit accessible, and consider taking a first aid course to deal with minor injuries like cuts or bruises.

9. Proper Lighting

If your pool party stretches into the evening, ensure your pool area is well-lit, both in and out of the water. Good lighting can prevent accidents and help in spotting a person in distress.

10. Keep it Clean

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), maintaining a clean and healthy pool environment is essential to minimize harmful bacteria and algae that can cause infections or illnesses. 

Regularly check and adjust the pool’s pH levels to ensure they’re within a safe range. This minimizes harmful bacteria and algae that can cause infections or illnesses. Ensuring your pool’s pH levels are within the recommended range of 7.2 – 7.8 is an effective way to achieve this.

11. Alcohol Consumption

While pool parties often involve a few drinks, monitor alcohol consumption. Consuming alcohol and swimming is dangerous, so encourage guests to drink responsibly. Water watchers and those responsible for pool party safety must abstain from drinking. 

12. Electrical Safety

Ensure all outdoor electrical equipment, such as lighting or sound systems, is suitable for outdoor use, properly installed, and away from the pool to prevent electrocution.

13. Slip-Resistant Surfaces

Wet surfaces can be slippery and hazardous. Install slip-resistant surfaces around the pool area to prevent accidental slips and falls.

14. Regular Hydration & Sun Protection

Heatstroke is a serious concern during hot summer days. Provide plenty of water for your guests and encourage regular hydration, especially for those active in the water. Also, encourage the use of sunscreen with an appropriate SPF for the location and activity.

15. Pool Safety Education

Last but not least, educating guests about pool safety can be highly effective. Awareness is key to prevention, whether it’s a quick briefing before the party or formal education sessions. Check out our Water Safety Toolkit for posters, resources, and talking points to keep your community informed.

If you’re planning a pool party, we have a number of resources available to help you get yourself and your pool ready for the festivities. You can start by downloading the NDPA Pool Safety Checklist. Use this checklist to make sure your backyard oasis is pool party ready, or use it as a checkpoint for any facilities you might be hosting your party at.

Pool parties are a fun part of the summer season. Keep these tips in mind and create a safe, enjoyable environment for everyone. 

Have you created a water safety plan for your upcoming vacation?

Now that school’s out for the summer, families from all over will flock to vacation spots, water parks, pools, and beaches for fun in the sun. There’s nothing better than a good vacation, but things can turn from fun to tragic in an instant. Sadly, drowning remains the single leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1-4 in the United States. 

Here are some ways to help your family prepare for being in and around the water during your next family vacation.

family creating water safety plan

Develop A Water Safety Plan With Your Family BEFORE Your Vacation

It’s important to be proactive when it comes to water safety. Sitting your family down to create a family water safety plan will help ensure everyone is on the same page in case of an emergency.

  1. Start by having all adults and teens review the 5 Layers of Protection
  2. We recommend having all family members sign up for swimming lessons and CPR/first aid classes before any vacation. Whether introducing or refreshing, continuous practice and proficiency can mean the difference between life and death.
  3. When booking accommodations, make sure that your accommodations have the 5 Layers of Protection in place. Use our Vacation Water Safety Checklists to help with your planning, booking, and packing! 
  4. Have all adults take a water rescue training class from a qualified instructor in case rescue or CPR is necessary.
  5. To ensure a quick response to emergencies, make sure the address and an emergency contact list are clearly displayed at the property and are easily accessible. 
  6. Identifying potential dangers and water features in and around the property you will be staying at to address any risks immediately upon arrival.
  7. Bring a printed copy of these Pool Rules Signs with you as a reminder for kids, family members, and guests that are visiting with you at your vacation spot.
  8. Children should never be left unsupervised. Choose a capable adult as the designated “water watcher” to keep a vigilant eye on kids in and around the water. Print out our Water Watcher Cards and bring these with you!   
  9. Bring portable door alarms for your hotel/AirBnB’s sliding doors and front doors to alert you of a child potentially leaving the room or house. 
  10. Bring personal alarms for little swimmers or pets! Always keep in mind that alarms should never be a replacement for capable adult supervision.
  11. Make sure everyone brings a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket in their size for all water sports, boating, and open water activities. 

Take the initiative and make water safety a priority on your next family vacation to help change the statistics for drowning. 

Reacting To A Water Emergency

In the face of a water emergency, every second counts. Reacting swiftly and confidently can save a life. Here are some things we recommend your family be well versed in and prepared for:

  1. If a loved one, especially a child, goes missing, always check the water first. If the missing person cannot be found, call 9-1-1 and enlist assistance while searching.
  2. If someone is found in the water, the first step is removing them from the water and laying them on a flat surface. 
  3. Call 9-1-1 immediately and give them the exact address for where you are located.
  4. While waiting for paramedics to arrive, provide CPR with rescue breaths to help sustain their vital functions. (You can alternate while waiting for emergency services to come, but do not stop).

Remember, being prepared and acting decisively in water emergencies can be life-saving. Stay vigilant, remain calm, and take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of those involved.

family safe with water safety plan

Water Safety Plan Best Practices During Your Vacation

Once you arrive at your destination, the real work begins. Before diving into the fun, set aside some time to review your water safety plan as a family. Take the first hour or so to review emergency procedures and water safety regulations. Everyone should be present and on the same page when it comes to vacation safety! Here are some best practices for you to exercise and keep at the top of your mind: 

  • Always remember that the 5 Layers of Protection are portable! Meaning you can consistently implement them to varying degrees while you’re out. 
  • Educate children on the extreme importance of water safety, and ensure that adults understand the latest statistics surrounding drowning incidents.
  • No one should ever be exploring or wandering the property alone. This is a general rule of thumb for all family members, so encourage all members of your group to use a buddy system!
  • Always exercise water safety precautions around open water and pools. There are significant variables to consider around open water, like weather and water conditions, beach flag warning systems, and staying close to lifeguard stations. 

Water safety is everyone’s responsibility, and ensuring the well-being of loved ones requires a comprehensive water safety plan. 

By involving everyone and fostering a culture of awareness, you can ensure that your family’s vacation remains an enjoyable experience for years to come!

CPR with rescue breaths main blog image

When an emergency occurs, we’re often left scrambling and grasping at solutions with very little time for preparation or action. But, in the case of water safety, learning drowning CPR can mean the difference between life and death. 

CPR with rescue breaths, is an important skill to learn because drowning is considered a hypoxic event – meaning the lack of oxygen affects all of the organs in the body.  

Knowing emergency procedures, like drowning CPR, is critical because they can triple the chances of survival after cardiac arrest.

drowning cpr practicing

What is Drowning CPR?

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is the act of repeated chest compressions of the chest in an attempt to restore or maintain blood circulation in the body of someone who has gone into cardiac arrest. 

Rescue breathing is the process of blowing air into someone’s mouth who has stopped breathing to ensure that they stay oxygenated to further prevent the damage of cardiac arrest.

These two practices used together are known as drowning CPR. When used immediately, these practices have proven to be effective in reducing the likelihood of death by drowning or asphyxiation (loss of oxygen flow to the body).

Why Do We Use Drowning CPR?

Performing CPR with rescue breaths on a drowning victim is essential to maintaining blood flow and oxygenation to the brain.

In a hypoxic event, like drowning, the flow of oxygen supplied to the brain is slowed or stopped, resulting in eventual respiratory and cardiac arrest. 

According to the Health & Safety Institute, room air has an oxygen level of about 21%. Exhaled air has an oxygen level of about 16-17%, which is enough to support life in a critical emergency.

When you combine rescue breaths with chest compressions, you increase the oxygen level in the victim’s blood and are able to simulate respiration with a life-sustaining amount of breathed oxygen, thus saving their organs.

Drowning CPR is an integral part of Emergency Preparation as a layer of protection and, when used properly, can be a life-saving action.

drowning cpr class

How and When To Perform Drowning CPR:

First and foremost, if you ever encounter a victim who is not breathing, ALWAYS call 911 or have someone at the scene do so before trying to perform drowning CPR.

The underlying principles of CPR remain the same. Still, the amount of force and hand use varies depending on the victim’s age. 

The following steps are as advised by the American Red Cross. If you are ever in a position where you must perform drowning CPR, always remember that proper training and certification for CPR must be refreshed every 1-2 years, especially if there are recent changes in recommendations from the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. 

For Adults

  1. Immediately call 911
  2. Check for responsiveness using the Shout-Tap-Shout.
    1. Shout to get a response, tap on the shoulder (or bottom of the foot for babies),  shout again.
  3. Place the victim on their back on a firm and flat surface.
  4. Place two hands centered on the chest, your shoulders directly over your hands, and give 30 chest compressions at a depth of 2 inches. Allow their chest to return to normal after each compression.
  5. Open the victim’s airway using the head-tilt technique. Pinch the nose shut, take a normal breath, and make a complete seal over the person’s mouth with your mouth or a rescue mask (if available).
  6. Ensure each breath lasts about 1 second and you see the victim’s chest rise. Allow air to exit before administering the next breath.
  7. Do not stop until help arrives or until you notice an obvious sign of life.

When a trained professional arrives, clear a pathway and find a first responder to relay any known information about the drowning event to them.  

For Children and Infants :

  • If performing drowning CPR on an infant, use two thumbs side by side at the center of the baby’s chest. Alternatively, you can use two fingers placed parallel to the chest in the center of the chest, performing compressions to a depth of 1 1/2 inches.
  • Drowning CPR is vital to the survival of infants and children as their oxygen levels immediately decrease in cardiac arrest due to the lack of oxygen flow. 

According to the Health & Safety Institute, infants and children are more likely to suffer from asphyxiation due to a constriction in the airway, making rescue breaths even more essential. 

If you are reluctant or unable to perform rescue breaths, hands-only CPR is better than no CPR.

Drowning CPR Can Save Lives

CPR training is essential for medical professionals, first responders, and anyone who wants to be prepared to respond to an emergency like a drowning incident. Anyone living in a home with a pool or frequently around water should become CPR certified, focusing on CPR with rescue breaths.

Many organizations require all babysitters, teachers, and caregivers to have current CPR training and certification. In groups, it is recommended that at least one person should know CPR or have undergone CPR training.  

Proper training and certification should be refreshed every 1-2 years or more frequently if there have been recent changes in recommendations.

drowning cpr swimming class

To find a CPR and First Aid class near you, check with your local hospital, fire department, or use the American Heart Association or American Red Cross Websites. 

Drowning CPR is a life-saving technique that, when done properly, can significantly increase the rate of survival for a drowning victim or someone suffering from asphyxiation. 

It is an important part of emergency preparation as a layer of protection Though the technique varies across age ranges, the underlying fundamentals of the practice remain the same. 

Timing is of the utmost importance. If you are not trained in CPR with rescue breaths, consider taking a class to learn these life-saving skills.

To learn more about emergency preparation techniques for drowning prevention, visit ndpa.org.