ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Officials in Central Florida are urging families to stay vigilant and safe while staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to officials, drowning is the leading cause of death for children under five in Florida.
“With people staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic, pool season has started earlier than the traditional end-of-school-year,” officials said.
Since Gov. Ron DeSantis imposed the stay-at-home order, Orange County Fire Rescue has responded to several pediatric drowning calls.
“We want people to enjoy pool time, but we also want them to be safe,” OCFR said in a news release.
Items like child-resistant door locks, pool alarms and pool fences are helpful devices. However, there is no substitute for direct adult supervision, officials said.
“Water can be an attractive nuisance. When it’s pool time, have a responsible adult designated as a water watcher - someone who does not take their eyes off the children in the pool for any reason,” OCFR added.
Officials add knowing CPR is critical in the event that drowning occurs.
“The chances of survival are significantly increased when CPR is administered until paramedics arrive,” OCFR said.
For those interested, you can take a CPR class online through the American Heart Association or American Red Cross.