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Public Health urges everyone to practice water safety

Kern County Public Health Services Department

As temperatures rise and families take to their backyard swimming pools and visit other bodies of water to cool off, Kern County Public Health urges everyone to take steps to keep your kids safe. While water can be fun for kids and a great way to escape the heat, it can also pose serious dangers.

Safe Kids International reports that drowning is the third leading cause of death among children 19 and under.

According to the Kern County Child Death Review Team (CDRT), in 2020, three children died from accidental drowning. Since 2014, we have lost 35 Kern County children to accidental drowning.

"The drowning of a child is a tragic occurrence for families and communities," says Brynn Carrigan, director of Kern County Public Health. "Parents and caregivers can play a key role in preventing children from drowning."

Water Safety Tips:

• Ensure children are always supervised when playing in or around water. Become a WaterWatcher (kernpublichealth.com/water-watchers/). When there are several adults present, choose one to be responsible for watching children for a certain period of time, such as 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, select another adult to be the Water Watcher. Pick up your free Water Watcher lanyard at Kern County Public Health, 1800 Mt. Vernon Avenue,  Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

• Empty all tubs, buckets, containers and kiddie pools immediately after use.

• Install fences around home pools. A pool fence should surround all sides of the pool and be at least four feet tall with self-closing and self-latching gates.

• Learn CPR. Performing resuscitation on a drowning victim in the time it takes for first responders to arrive could save their life.

To learn more visit Safe Kids International's website www.safekids.org.