March 14, 2014

Our Views: Near-tragedy a reminder about need for vigilance

There is no substitute for vigilant adult supervision around swimming pools.

There is no substitute for vigilant adult supervision around swimming pools.

The heroics of brothers Angelo and Domingo Bermudez in saving their 18-month-old niece’s life are reminders that most drownings and near-drownings take place in residential swimming pools. The warming weather punctuates the need for stressing the importance of pool safety.

It only takes two minutes of submersion to lose consciousness. Irreversible brain damage occurs in four to six minutes. But steps can be taken to avert drownings.

There should always be a designated “watcher” when children are around pools. It is the job of this person to keep track of all the swimmers.

School-age children should be taught to swim but never allowed to swim alone. Swimming lessons are no guarantee of survival in a difficult situation. Teach children to ask for permission before going near water.

Those near water should have flotation safety devices for non-swimmers to use. Teenagers and adults should learn CPR.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported in 2012 that 137 children in this country drowned in a swimming pool or spa between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and 168 more required emergency treatment for near-drownings.

The Ceres toddler’s family is taking steps to prevent anything like the near-drowning from happening again. They’ve installed a 5-foot iron fence around the pool, the family said it plans to participate in an upcoming CPR course held by the Ceres Police Department and the toddler has been signed up for swimming lessons.

The models at Modesto Gospel Mission’s annual Tea and Fashion Show last Saturday were as striking as the clothes. These women from the mission’s New Life Program showed a lot of courage by putting themselves out there on the catwalk. But that hardly compares to their lives.

Donna and Shawna have overcome drug abuse, bad relationships and more. Their star turn before 225 people at the SOS Club in Modesto funds some of the mission’s programs, including shelters for men, women and children; hot meals, clothing and showers every day; New Life Program for women; Exodus Program for men; education programs; employment/vocational programs; addiction recovery; spiritual counseling; children’s programs; medical clinic; and resource counseling.

The mission, at 1400 Yosemite Blvd., serves some 500 individuals each day. It’s always in need of volunteers and monetary donations. To get involved, call (209) 529-8259 or visit www.homelessmission.org.

The effects of the drought keep growing, so it’s liable to be a long, bothersome summer. Before the weather heats up, take advantage of the nice days.

This weekend is perfect for unplugging from the world and enjoying the outdoors. Garden centers are stocked, if planting is your pleasure. The Modesto Camellia Show is today and Sunday at the E.&.J. Gallo Winery administration building, Murphys Irish Days is today on Main Street in the foothills community, and Central West Ballet hosts its 10th annual benefit titled “King of Pop” tonight.

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