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EMSA Gives Tips To Prevent Drowning Deaths

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About half of accidental deaths will occur within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. About half of accidental deaths will occur within 25 yards of a parent or other adult.
Gina Miller Kinnison, Miller Swim School. Gina Miller Kinnison, Miller Swim School.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Now that summer is in full swing paramedics and lifeguards are teaming up to teach people how to prevent drownings. Last year EMSA responded to 36 near drowning calls in the Tulsa area.

Safety officials say the key is vigilance.

Everyone at the pool needs to pay attention even if a lifeguard is on duty because about half of accidental deaths will occur within 25 yards of a parent or other adult.

While the kids are splashing around, a good adult swimmer needs to be poolside with a watchful eye - because experts say it only takes seconds to sink.

"They can be in distress right away depending on how good of a swimmer they are - but in less than a minute a person can drown," said Gina Miller Kinnison, Miller Swim School.

The Miller Swim School teaches young swimmers and their parents how to enjoy the water safely. Drowning is the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 5. It is known as the silent killer.

A drowning person will not be able to yell out for help or wave their arms. Everyone in your family should know the signs to watch for.

"Lifeguards are great and they definitely are needed, and we train tons of lifeguards in the city of Tulsa and the surrounding areas, but they need to be watched," Kinnison said. "All children need to be watched regardless."

If you see the signs of a struggle, it's important to know what not to do.

"If somebody is struggling don't need to jump right in and go in and get them if you aren't an adequate swimmer either. The first thing you need to do is try and reach them with an object. We have a saying reach throw but never go.

Once the swimmer is out - paramedics say your average Joe can be a hero.

Scott Williams with EMSA says CPR is simple- once you are trained.

"It's a very short course - basic first aid there is friends and family CPR that helps us recognize emergencies, get help on the way and do something productive and help the patient while they are waiting on EMS to arrive," said Scott Williams, EMSA.

To make sure your summers are safe- be sure everyone is CPR certified and be aware of fatigue and because people sweat in the pool - dehydration and cramps lead to a dangerous water situation.

For more information, call Miller Swim School at 918-254-1988.

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