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pull buoy

The Safety Essentials – Pull Buoy

Pull buoy is an essential equipment to have in the swimming pool to ensure safety. We should all be aware of the facts as Singaporeans spend more of our weekends around water. Singapore is a health conscious country as we can see from the efforts the government have tried for the past few years with the building and enhancement of more swimming pools and sport facilities. There have been a surge of water parks, public swimming pools and private swimming pools such as those in condominium, clubhouses and hotels. Following with this outburst, whether it’s at the beach or by the pool, it’s smart to always make sure babies and toddlers learn basic water safety and swimming skills as early as possible. Adult and swimming instructors supervision should and always be required.

It’s all too familiar headline or news of young kids not knowing how to swim with no proper swimming confidence drowning cases around the world. One familiar one was the boy of age 8 years old primary 3 student found dead in the Bukit Batok Civil Service Club in Singapore around October 2017. Resuscitation efforts were done and continued till the paramedics arrived. The boy who have three sisters died 10 days later in the hospital. His death marked the 12th drowning accident aged 12 and below since January 2014.

life jackets

A small child can drown in as little as 5cm of water, just enough to cover their face and nose. Everyone need to make sure that you have some basic first aid equipment around the swimming pool, including a first aid kit and a life preserver of some kind. Life preserver may include a buoyant jacket, life buoy, belt or any other like device design and can keep a person afloat by providing buoyancy in water.

Usually life jackets are a necessary worn equipment for going into recreational boats. Everyone must wear one PFD for each person aboard the boat. It’s also a good essential for those learning how to swim for the first time and individuals swimming in lakes, oceans and rivers. Life jackets and life buoys can now be readily seen on some swimming pools for poor swimmers alike for floatation.

Life jackets are great lifesaver equipment to help protect a person against hypothermia and cold shock response. This is one crucial threat when the rescue might be slow in coming.  The life jacket will help to keep a person’s head and body slightly above water, so that it stays dry and help to hold heat. Instead of trying to exert heat and wasting energy in treading water, people with life jackets can hide their legs into their chests and slow down the escape of body heat. Most of the life jacket are bright in color and stand out in the water to aid in rescue efforts and better visibility. Life jackets can absorb impact of falls and minimize injuries especially important for those kids who like to run around in swimming pools. It will come in handy if people happened to fall in pool accidentally for weak and non-swimmers, a life jacket can give some valuable comfort time in adjusting to the shock. Of course learning and knowing how to swim is a better measure and foresight to prevent all this aftershocks but life preservers alike will also plays a vital role in everyone’s water safety.

You too can also invest in knowledge and skills building course such as first aid course as well as first aid training to kick start your life saving goals.

If your child has been submerged in the water, your first priority is to get your child out of the swimming pool and then check if they are breathing. If they aren’t, place your child on a hard surface, call for help and start performing CPR. Don’t assume it’s too late to save a child’s life, even if they are motionless and not responsive, continue performing CPR and do not stop until medical professionals take over. Every parent should know CPR and take a course in these life-saving techniques, especially if you have a swimming pool at home, if you don’t know CPR here are some steps to take:

To open your child’s airway, gently tilt his head back with one hand, and lift his chin with the other. Put your ear to the child’s mouth and nose, and look, listen and feel for signs that he is breathing.

If your child doesn’t seem to be breathing:

Infants under age 1: Place your mouth over infant’s nose and lips and give two breaths, each lasting about 1.5 seconds. Look for the chest to rise and fall.

Children 1 year and older: Pinch the child’s nose and seal your lips over his mouth. Give two slow, full breaths (1.5 to 2 seconds each). Wait for the chest to rise and fall before giving the second breath.

If the chest rises

Check for a pulse

If the chest doesn’t rise

try again. Re-tilt the head, lift the child’s chin, and repeat the breaths.

Check for a pulse: Put two fingers on your child’s neck to the side of the Adam’s apple (for infants, feel inside the arm between the elbow and shoulder). Wait five seconds. If there is a pulse, give one breath every three seconds. Check for a pulse every minute, and continue rescue breathing until the child is breathing on his own or medical professionals help arrives.

If you can’t find a pulse then:

Infants under age 1: Imagine a line between the child’s nipples, and place two fingers just below its sternum also the centre-point. Apply five chest compressions in about three seconds. After five compressions, seal your lips over your child’s mouth and nose and give one breath.

Children 1 and older: Use the heel of your hand (both hands for a teenager or adult) to apply five quick chest compressions to the middle of the breastbone (just above where the ribs come together) in about three seconds. After five compressions, pinch your child’s nose, seal your lips over his mouth, and give one full breath.

All ages: continue the cycle of five chest compressions followed by a breath for one minute, then check for a pulse. Counting practice should go like this 1and2and3and4and5 for five cycles.
The compression cycles should be 30 compression to 2 breaths. Repeat cycle until you find a pulse or help arrives and takes over. You need to keep your person warm, no matter what happens, so remove any wet clothing and cover them with a blanket or even a dry towel. All near-drowning victims should be observed in hospital for 24 hours.

The positioning of the hands and how to for chest compressions for adults

Pictures illustrations are credited to WebMD Medical Reference, you can check out their site for more information.

Preventing an emergency is the best preparation for swimming pools first aid. Every one of all ages should have proper sufficient swimming lessons and education around the pool and in water safety. Never leave a child alone in or near a pool, the ocean, a spa or any other body of water!

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