Updated: May 3, 2019
This past spring we had the opportunity to attend the 3rd Annual South Florida Water Safety Symposium for continuing education, hosted by Water Smart Broward. The collection of influential community leaders, medical professionals and business owners in the industry, allowed for spectacular networking as KISO Swim School continues to strive for excellence in all areas. We are excited to take what we learned from the event and implement updated information into our safety training.
Given that we are surrounded by water, it is commonly known that Florida is one of the highest drowning rate states in the nation. However, the mere fact that there were 98 drownings in the Sunshine State last year alone, is simply astonishing and very sad to hear. In an effort to keep our communities happier, healthier and safer, these conferences are entirely necessary to stay updated with pertinent water safety information. To continue that education for our members, we would like to share three main talking points that we took from the symposium as most the critical.
Terminology and Tactics
We had the chance to hear Andrew Schmidt, DO, MPH, speak on today's terminology and process for resuscitation in drowning victims. His expertise are in Emergency Medicine from the University of Florida - Jacksonville based. He is also the Deputy Medical Director of Trauma One and closely associated with Jacksonville Ocean Rescue. It was very interesting to listen to the language we have been using for years and the updated terminology that we should be using, in order to make more accurate statements when it comes to drowning. The main focus of his talk was geared around "hypoxia" and the complete loss or low levels of oxygen in drowning victims. How we address the situation and the urgency to give oxygen was the highlighted take-away. He also brought to our attention the different tactics used around the world for resuscitation and how some cultures are still using a process that dates back centuries. His entire presentation brought new light to the way we approach drowning, in addition to how we can be more proactive in saving lives.
There was also a great presentation on how we can reach communities more efficiently, especially within the school systems. The host introduced a program called SPUD ( STUDENTS PREVENTING UNINTENTIONAL DROWNING), that has become a club within the schools for students to get involved and make an impact. They are doing a great job reaching out to their piers on water safety and drowning prevention education to help bring down the fatal stats seen across Florida.
The panel also discussed other ways to integrate water safety education to the communities, especially for tourists traveling to our Florida attractions. A large number of drownings take place in pools of hotels, as well as on our coastal waters. Placing water safety tips within the lobbies, rooms and even at airports and transportation systems can help get this education to tourists and hopefully lower percentages of drownings in this area. It will take a team effort to make this happen and we are positive it can be done.
Lastly, the symposium focused on technology and the ways we can use this element to assist with drowning prevention. Besides basic social media and blasting it everywhere for people to see, there are now tagged wrist bands for children and even apps to help with AED locations. These products and services can certainly play a role in helping provide a better layer of protection.
Overall, every individual and family will need to do what is best for their situation, but across all platforms, there is so much out there that can help lower drowning percentages. We also promote the most proactive source for water safety, which are swim lessons. However, this is only one layer of protection and we hope all our readers can use the information above to get more involved and proactive at being water safe!