The summer season means sunshine and lots of outdoor fun and activities, like swimming. But before you let your kids jump in, take a few moments to prepare yourself and your family by taking a CPR course.
During June, the American Heart Association is strongly encouraging Americans to learn proper CPR training by taking a course. Anyone can learn CPR – and everyone should! Sadly, 70% of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed.
This alarming statistic is heightened during the summer months with the threat of drowning while swimming. According to the Center for Disease Control, every day about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. In fact, drowning ranks fifth among leading causes of unintentional injury death for people of all ages, and about 1 in 5 people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.
The Heart Association offers a quick online Hands-Only CPR instructional video available at www.heart.org/CPR, but taking an actual class and getting certified in being a heart saver through the Friends and Family CPR course, will change your life! Actually knowing what CPR feels like and being able to administer the technique can provide a sense of relief and even confidence for parents and friends.
“Drowning happens quickly and can leave the heart in an abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation,” said use Katie Connelly, Community CPR Manager at the American Heart Association. “I can’t stress enough that bystanders must call 911 immediately and start CPR. Do not stop chest compressions until emergency personnel arrive.” According to the Heart Association, for every minute that CPR is not performed on a sudden cardiac arrest victim, chances of survival drop 10 percent.
The Heart Association recommends the following water safety tips:
· Be prepared to perform CPR. Drowning is a leading cause of fatal injuries in infants, children and adolescents.
· Watch infants and children who are swimming at all times. Drowning can occur in minutes even in shallow water.
· No child is “drown proof” and the ability to swim does not prevent drowning. The drowning child often sinks quietly without screaming for help or thrashing in the water.
· Put life vests on your children. Children should wear life vests when swimming in natural bodies of water such as lakes and rivers. Children easily can be swept away by river currents and are very difficult to spot if they become submerged in lakes.
After learning CPR you can go to the beach or lounge by the pool with a bit more confidence in knowing you can save the life of your child if you had to.
The Heart Association encourages everyone to find a CPR training center. You can visit www.americanheart.org/CPR or call the American Heart Association at 1-877-AHA-4CPR to find a class near you.
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