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Raising Yuma Families - 2021-05-10

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WATER SAFETY

Knowledge is power, and that’s especially true where water safety is concerned – for both children and adults. Erfert encourages parents, guardians and adults of all varieties to learn CPR “in the event that the unthinkable does happen.” Last summer, adults who performed CPR while waiting for first responders to arrive were the critical intervention in several near-fatal drownings. The Yuma Fire Department offers compression-only CPR classes in conjunction with the American Red Cross, Arizona Western College and Yuma Regional Medical Center. While the COVID-19 pandemic brought the classes to a months-long pause, Erfert said the department is hopeful to information on class availability, contact Erfert at 928-373-4855. In any drowning or near-drowning situation, calling 911 is vital; so is staying calm. “We don’t want people to lose their heads and not do what they need to do if they find that happening; call 911, get the help on the way, get the child out and start CPR right away,” Erfert said. “When you call 911, our dispatchers are emergency medical dispatchers; they will walk somebody through all the steps that they need to do. The important thing is not to panic. If that happens and they aren’t able to follow the directions of the dispatcher, that could be the difference between life or death. The sooner CPR is started, the better the chance of survival.” As for little ones, the sooner they’re enrolled in swimming lessons, the better. “We can’t waterproof our children, but teaching them to swim might give them that much more time in case something happens,” Erfert said. Hosted each summer by the City of Yuma Parks and Recreation, a set of swimming lessons targeting six- to

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