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Pool safety takes center stage in Nevada community outreach.

AS National Public Health Week and the swimming season neared in NEVADA, a southern Nevada coalition and a Las Vegas-based prevention group both launched drowning prevention awareness campaigns.

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Dubbing April 1 as "April Pools' Day," the campaigns brought together area fire departments, public health educators, pool builders and supply companies, health departments and others to raise awareness of pool safety and that drowning is preventable.

During an April 1 news conference at Desert Breeze Park in Las Vegas, members of the Southern Nevada Drowning Prevention Coalition, along with representatives from the Safe Kids Coalition, Southern Nevada Health District, several area fire departments and water safety advocates, stressed the need for the "A, B, C and Ds" of drowning prevention. The A stands for adult supervision; B for barriers, such as fences and gates surrounding pools and other bodies of water; C for classes, including swimming lessons and instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and D for safety devices, specifically life jackets.

On the same day, the Clark County Commission, City of Las Vegas and City of North Las Vegas issued proclamations declaring April 1 as April Pools' Day. Posters illustrated the prevention message, including the words "Take a Second, Protect a Child."

The Southern Nevada Drowning Prevention Coalition formed last year in response to the problem of drownings and near drownings in the Las Vegas area. Public health officials said 249 people suffered "submersion incidents" in the area from 2006-2010, the majority of them in swimming pools. Of those incidents when people had to be rescued from the water, 44 people died from drowning, 40 of them children younger than 5. Nationally, more than one in five drowning victims are children ages 14 and younger, and for every child who dies from drowning, another four receive emergency department care for drowning-related injuries.

In Clark County alone, there are more than 100,000 residential swimming pools.

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As part of the April Pools' Day event, firefighters from several area fire departments distributed drowning prevention awareness materials at homes and apartment complexes with pools.

Public health advocates reminded parents and caregivers that air-filled armbands and inflatable toys will not save a child from drowning and are not a substitute for adult supervision.

The anti-drowning campaign in Clark County brought together all county fire departments, the Clark County Department of Developmental Services, Clark County Safe Kids and St. Rose Dominican Hospital as sponsors.
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Author:Currie, Donya
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Jun 29, 2011
Words:401
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