Tulsa Experts Offer Tips To Keep Children Safe In Pools
TULSA, Oklahoma - One child has died and two others are in intensive care at a Tulsa hospital; all of them are victims of near drownings in the past week - two at a pool, one in a bathtub.
The child passed away about 7:45 Tuesday evening. A cause for the death will be determined by the medical examiner.
A child can drown very quickly, and may not splash around or make any noise. Experts have three tips to keep kids safe around water.
First, awareness, not just of your child, but of the depth of the pool - if you can't see the bottom, it's not safe to go in.
Second, push, turn and grab. If they go in, they should push off the bottom, turn and grab the side to pull themselves out.
And, finally, for parents, throw, don't go. Don't jump in to save them, instead, throw them a device and pull it toward them so they can grab on.
Twice recently in Tulsa, toddlers got out of their houses unnoticed and got into the pool, both remain on ventilators nearly a week later.
The YMCA teaches a class called Safety Around the Water and swimming lessons starting as young as six months old.
They encourage the use of life jackets, especially in pools at hotels or apartment complexes where there's no lifeguard.
“A person can go under water completely silent in 10 seconds, three times under and they’re done. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on everybody,” said John Skinner, YMCA vice president of aquatics and sports.
If a child goes under, even briefly, get them checked because dry drowning can occur hours later.
Skinner said, "A child can appear very healthy, not sick at the time, but get them checked out, you can never be too careful, especially where water is concerned."
At home pools, a fence and locking gate between the pool and house are a must to keep toddlers out.
Even police were shocked by three near drownings in five days.
Corporal Greg Smith said, "It's important to get the message out, water is dangerous to kids and they need to be watched very carefully."