NewsCovering Kern County


Department of Public Health shares ways to monitor children while swimming

CPR is another major life-saving skill.
Posted at 4:11 PM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 21:41:43-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Department of Public Health said that over the last three years, 16 child drownings have taken place in Kern County. Averaging more than five child drownings each year.

Another alarming stat is that 75% of those deaths, were in children two years old or younger.

As we approach the warmer weather, many people will be taking part in water activities to stay cool. However, it is important for adults to be on alert when supervising children in any body of water.

Public Health wants to remind Kern County of effective tools available to them to ensure a fun but safe summertime.

“I encourage all of you parents and caregivers to use the lock, look, learn preventative measures to keep our children safe around water,” said Brynn Carrigan, Director for Kern County Public Health.

It is a three-step safety method that could easily save a child’s life. Carrigan said that ‘'lock, look, and learn’ means securing all sides of a pool with a gate, never leaving children unattended, and using flotation devices. She adds that adult supervision is especially critical when there are multiple children swimming.

“There’s not a magic number of adults that you should have watching children swimming, but you want to make sure that it is a safe environment. The more people that know how to swim, and that can rescue children if they are swimming, the better. Then making sure that someone has devoted their attention to those children while they’re swimming is so important.”

CPR is another major life-saving skill that Carrigan encourages all adult supervisors to learn in the case of cardiac arrest. The American Heart Association said that immediate CPR can double or triple the chances of survival.

“You call 911 or have somebody else call 911 and then you start engaging in hands-only CPR. Every child’s life matters, and we need to make sure that we are protecting them.”

Carrigan adds that adults can even take part of supervising children in local public pool locations by becoming a designated water watcher.

This position serves as one of their most critical tools so that no child that is engaging in water activities goes out of sight at any time.

“You’re not distracted by your phone, you’re not distracted by other people that are at that gathering, or at the party that you’re attending, and your sole focus is to watch those kids while they are swimming to ensure that everybody is partaking in water activities safely.”

If you would like to become a water watcher and receive a designated lanyard, you can pick one up at any local public pool or at the Department of Public Health.