Macher Aquatic Center Hosts Water Safety Event
COLUMBIA - The summer is heating up and people are spending more time at the pool, making water safety an issue. Macher Aquatic Center held a demonstration Sunday afternoon at it's pool to promote water safety.
"More people are out, especially on lakes, and more people are drinking and doing things a little silly," said Lieutenant Firefighter Brian Tilman. "There's definitely a higher number of incidents in the summer time."
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, more than 40 people drowned in Missouri last year.
"Drowning awareness is very important," said Joanne Macher, owner of Macher Aquatic Center. "It's the primary preventative for this needless loss of life."
Macher designed the water safety event to promote and give safety tips to both parents and children.
"In the state of Missouri, it's the number two cause of death for preschoolers," Macher said. "Only second to traffic accidents."
But drowning isn't the only danger when it comes to water. The Columbia Fire Department demonstrated how they would handle a spinal injury caused by diving into shallow water. Fortunately, spinal injuries are now less common than they used to be.
"There's been a lot of exposure with those types of incidents in the past and I think people are just more safe nowadays on that," said Tilman.
In addition to the demonstrations, Macher was giving out water safety brochures at the event. One of the brochures, titled "Save Your Child's Life!" highlighted simple ways parents could prevent their children from drowning. The four preventative steps listed are:
- Enroll your child in a swimming program and continue to do lessons until your child is a strong swimmer. Some programs start for children as young as six months.
- Watch children when water is nearby. Most deaths of children under five years of age occur within five minutes of having been seen by an adult.
- Provide layers of barriers - locks, fences, alarms, covers, etc. - to prevent a child's access to home pools. Examine hotel and other pools carefully for safety.
- Get training in rescue breathing, first aid, CPR, and spinal injury management. Knowing how to act in an emergency saves lives.