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North Carolina EMS want parents to take water safety seriously

Aug 06, 2023

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We’re just a few weeks away from pool season and there's a renewed conversation about safety after Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barret's daughter drowned after falling into her family's pool Sunday.

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With Triad families planning trips to the pool and beach this Summer, first responders are asking people to make safety plans before they get in the water. Aaron Kasulis of Novant Health said you should know where lifeguards and flotation devices are wherever you’re swimming. He said if you’re in a situation where someone is drowning and there may not be a lifeguard to help, make sure to protect yourself first.

"You want to make sure you're comfortable around the water," he said. "Make sure you have tools like a boogie board, surfboard, or some kind of flotation device to go out with you. That holds true with a pool, no matter how small it is."

Adrienne Beauchamp, of Salem Gymnastics and Swim, said to prevent drownings, you need to have your eyes on the water at all times.

"Drowning is oftentimes the opposite of what people think," she said. "They envision flailing in the water and things like that. The truth of the matter is that drowning is often silent because people are underwater, and you can't hear them when they're underwater."

Kasulis said if you pull someone from the water and they’re not breathing, call 911 and immediately start CPR. He says it's important to open up the airway and give them breaths until professionals arrive.

"You just want to keep keep the brain oxygenated," he said. "Keep the blood circulating, so all those vital organs get the oxygen that they need.

Kasulis and Beauchamp said one of the best things you can do to keep your kids safe is to enroll them in swim lessons as early as you can.

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