Unintentional Drowning: Avoiding Tragedy in Your Backyard

The soaring temperatures of a typical Las Vegas summer have convinced many area families to install pools in their backyards. Swimming is a great way to beat the heat and stay in shape, but backyard pools can lead to tragedy when children are left unsupervised. Even if you do not have a child, it’s important to practice pool safety for the protection of the children in your neighborhood. At MountainView Hospital, our emergency care team encourages families throughout Las Vegas to be mindful of the risk of unintentional drowning .

Fence in your backyard pool and keep the gate locked.

All backyard pools ought to be fenced in to keep out wandering children. The fence should be secured by a gate that should be kept locked whenever the pool is not in use.

Consider enrolling your child in swimming lessons.

Whether or not parents have a backyard pool, it’s a good idea to consider enrolling young children in formal swimming lessons . Swimming lessons will not entirely eliminate the risk of unintentional drowning, nor the need for emergency care in dire situations. However, these lessons can help keep kids safer. Most kids can begin pediatric-friendly swimming lessons at age one, but you could consider speaking with your pediatrician for recommendations specific to your child’s needs.

Enforce strict pool rules for adults and children.

Families with backyard pools should establish rules to promote pool safety and they should strictly enforce those rules. Rules such as “No running near the pool,” and “No consuming alcohol before or during swimming,” can be effective in preventing emergency care visits.

Supervise young children at all times near the pool.

Even when young children have been enrolled in swimming lessons, they need to be under the watchful eye of a responsible adult at all times near the pool. Older children can benefit from using the buddy system.

Take a course in CPR.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can help preserve life when an unintentional drowning occurs. First, retrieve the individual from the pool and call 911. Then, begin administering CPR while awaiting emergency responders.

When tragedies do occur, the emergency care team at MountainView Hospital is ready to step in to save lives. If you or your family member requires emergency care, call 911 immediately. In non-emergent situations, families throughout Las Vegas can get in touch with a registered nurse at our community hospital by calling (702) 233-5300.

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