Do you live in a house with a pool?
Keep your family safer around water by learning a few water safety basics.
This summer has been one of the worst on record, with 86 people drowning nationally from Dec 1 2018 – Feb 2, 2019, and 28 drownings in NSW alone during the same period. In many of these cases, the fast and effective application of CPR may have saved some of these lives, as the first 5 minutes after cardiac arrest are the most critical.
So, what exactly is CPR? Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) refers to the actions taken to keep a casualty alive after their breathing and heartbeat has stopped. Resuscitation and early intervention can mean the difference between life and death.
Statistics are one thing, but the effectiveness of CPR really hits home when you consider a real life example last month, when 1 year old Ella Zirp’s life was saved by her father’s quick response. Ella was blue in the face and lifeless when her dad scooped her out of the backyard pool at the family home in southern Sydney.
The little girl had slipped from the side of the pool into the water with barely a sound or a splash while her father was distracted by one of his two other daughters, Keira, 3, as they all played together in the pool. After being alerted to his daughter’s plight by another of his children, Mr Zirps grabbed Ella out of the water and handed her to his brother-in-law who also knows the resuscitation technique that alternately massages the heart and fills the lungs of a lifeless person.
Working together, the two men alternated between blowing breaths into the little girl’s mouth and compressing her chest. After two-and-a-half minutes, Ella burst back to life, expelling approximately 1 litre of water. It was, in some respects, the ideal resuscitation — Ella’s airways were already clear when paramedics arrived, meaning they did not have to intubate her. And by getting her breathing started within a few minutes they restored the flow of oxygen to Ella’s organs in time to avoid brain damage or other long-term health problems. Within 24 hours, this little girl was out of hospital and home with her family. It could have turned out very differently had CPR not been applied quickly.
Experts estimate the number of Australians with training in CPR is around five per cent — but a child who receives during an emergency it is four times more likely to survive. Learning CPR is a must for any parent who has a backyard pool.
Remember, CPR is just one of the important pillars of water safety. Early swimming lessons and supervision of children around water are vital. Be sure the fence the pool, always shut the gate, and regularly check the fence and gate for repairs needed, especially if the gate is not self latching.
Make sure your home swimming pool is safe for your children with Royal Life Saving’s Pool Safety app – an interactive checklist for your home swimming pool, available on the Royal Life Saving Australia website of the App Store. CPR courses are run monthly at Nepean Aquatic Centre by a Royal Life Saving Australia qualified assessor. Swimming lessons are held all year round in indoor heated pools.
Take advantage of CPR courses offered monthly at Nepean Aquatic Centre to keep your family safer around water. CPR Certificate and Statement of Attainment both available. Call to book – 4730 8900 – or see website for dates.