BAKERSFIELD, Calif – Since 2014, there have been 22 child drownings in Kern County–90 percent of which have happened in swimming pools.
This past year alone, six children have drowned in Kern County.
“One hundred percent of all child drownings under the age of six years occurred when there was a lapse in supervision,” said Russ Hasting, the chairman of the Child Death Review team. “There was either confusion about who was supervising the children or a simple lapse in supervision by the caregiver.”
In one-third of these drownings, CPR was not even attempted.
“People feel like they can leave their children every now and again in a pool that they’re in all the time, thinking that they’ll be okay,” said Brynn Carrigan, the assistant director of Kern County Public Health. “But it doesn’t take but a few minutes and something tragic can happen.”
To help you with water safety, Kern Public Health reminds you of the three L’s: lock, look, and learn.
They recommend pools have fences around all sides with self-locking gates. Keep alarms on all doors so you know when your child has wandered out and could be near water.
They say all children should learn to swim as early as possible, but never leave your children unattended, even if they do know how to swim.
Most importantly, Public Health recommends all caregivers get CPR certified. It’s also important to designate specific ‘water watchers’ to supervise.
For more water safety tips, visit kernpublichealth.com. Kern Public Health will also be offering free CPR certification lessons, which take all of five minutes.