Supervision key to drowning prevention

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to prevent drowning is supervision.

The American Lifeguard Association has joined a water safety movement called Zero Drowning.

Money is raised for local pools, lakes and beaches and 100% of it goes back to the participating facilities.

Pledging means committing to zero distractions while in or around water.

That includes using cell phones, Blackberries and iPods.

Parents are encouraged to supervise their children at all times and kids also take part by observing their surroundings.

In the U.S., an estimated nine to 10 people drown every day, totalling 3,500 deaths annually.

Lifeguard training is only half of the equation — proper supervision is key, said ALA director of health and safety B.J. Fisher.

If you see a lifeguard texting, reading a book, or using a device while on duty, he recommends filing a complaint to the facility in writing. “If you talk to somebody or call somebody, there’s no permanent record,” he said.

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