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ABC's of water safety now includes Coast Guard-approved life jac - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

ABC's of water safety now includes Coast Guard-approved life jackets

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News 4 Tucson is well into our third month of this Lifesaver season. Now, there's a major change to tell you about when it comes to the when it comes to drowning prevention.

When it comes to water safety, how many times have you heard about the ABC’s?

It’s something that Kristi’s Kids cannot stress enough:

A – Active adult supervision

B – Barriers, including pool fences with self-latching locks

C – Classes, including swim classes for kids, and CPR classes for adults and older kids

Turns out, ‘C’ is not just for classes anymore. Now, ‘C’ also stands for Coast Guard approved life jackets.

“Using a life jacket can be used in all bodies of water, including residential pools, because it gives that extra layer of protection for non-experienced swimmers,” Jessica Mitchell, with Tucson Medical Center and Safe Kids Pima County told Kristi’s Kids.

However, experts warn that it’s important that parents and other caregivers don’t get a false sense of security, when their children are using the “Second C.”  Life jackets or vest are to be treated as an addition to our ABC’s – never a replacement.

“You can't rely on it alone to save your child. It's not drowning-proof,” Mitchell told Kristi’s Kids.

 Having the life vest Coast Guard approved is critical to keeping kids safe. So called ‘water wings’ or ‘floaties’ are not enough to provide protection.  

“They are not one of your layers of protection. they are a fun pool toy to use, and that's fine,” Tracy Koslowski, with Drexel Heights Fire District told Kristi’s Kids.

“If a child puts their arms above water, their head can actually still go underwater. So, anytime those are used, we try to advise parents and educate parents on why those are not good,” Mitchell added.

When it comes to that Coast Guard approved life vest, it’s also important that it fit the child correctly.

“You don't want the vest to be too big, and buoy up, or be too tight on them, where you can't get it properly closed. You want that fit to be good,” Koslowski said.

To learn more about selecting the right life jacket CLICK HERE.

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