Water Safety Week

Published 4:34 pm Thursday, June 8, 2017

Water Safety Week

Cathryn McKee instructs youth on the importance of safety in the water and provides techniques on how to swim during the free lessons sponsored through donations and a YouCaring Fundraising account set up by Andrea Rose, who orchestrated the week long lessons. Youth pictured are (l to r) Gio Cabrera, Peyton Nicholson, Annabella King, Braylen Hall and Addy Grace Smith.
The Panolian Photos by Ashley Crutcher

By Ashley Crutcher
Most parents don’t know drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children 15-years old and younger, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Twenty youth of Panola County were offered free swimming lessons this past week after numerous donations were made to the cause.
Andrea Rose brought this idea to light in memory of her daughter, Mabry Suzanne Turner, who passed away on August 6, 2016 from a drowning incident.
“I just want parents to understand that drowning can happen. Even if you only look away for a moment, it can happen,” said Rose.

In Loving Memory of
Mabry Suzanne Turner
May 10, 2012 – August 6, 2016

Rose set a goal to raise $1,000 to pay Cathryn McKee for the swimming lessons and began working towards the goal by creating a YouCaring Fundraiser account and collecting donations at Cafe Ole in Batesville.
“I was able to take Cathryn the money as my gift to Mabry on her birthday [May 10],” said Rose. “I’d like to continue this each year with myself and other parents teaching the swimming lessons.”
Studies show that children less than one year old most frequently drown in bathtubs or buckets; children aged one to four years most often drown in swimming pools and children and adolescents aged five to 19 years most frequently drown in lakes, ponds, rivers and pools, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Flotation devices, along with adult supervision, are likely to reduce the risk of drowning in older children.

Cathryn McKee instructs Jason Cade Turner, son of Andrea Rose, in the pool as he swims his way from one side to the other with only a little assistance from McKee.

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AirEvac team members, Melinda Jenkins, Regional Educator, and Suzanne Janes, Program Director at Batesville’s AirEvac Base provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) lessons at the Batesville Lion’s Club Wednesday morning for individuals interested in learning the process.
If an immersion injury has occurred, it is encouraged to begin CPR at the incident cite by providing a rapid reestablishment of effective oxygenation and ventilation, and then  transport the victim to a pediatric critical care center, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Annabella King anxiously jumps into the pool as swimming Instructor Cathryn McKee waits to catch her. Gio Cabrera patiently awaits his turn to dive into the cool water.

Parents are encouraged to provide their children with swimming lesson, especially,  if they are frequently in or near bodies of waters such as lakes, rivers or pools.
The American Academy of Pediatrics warns parents that swimming lessons for children under the age of four will not provide “drown proofing” and may instill a false sense of security and encourages them to become CPR certified.
Pediatricians also stress the importance of teaching children not to swim alone, which McKee stressed during the swimming lessons.

Braylen Hall cannonballs his way into the pool during his swimming lessons with McKee.

Parents of adolescents are encouraged to talk with your children about the dangers of using alcohol and other drugs during aquatic recreation activities. Teens are also encouraged to become CPR certified.
Governor Phil Bryant signed a proclamation on Monday declaring this week “YMCA Safety Around Water Week”. “Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental deaths among children, second only to automobile accidents,” said Bob Williams of Greenville, President of Mississippi State Alliance of YMCA’s.
Panola County is without a YMCA and funds are limited, but parents can and should remain cautious when around water with children reminding them of dangers of swimming alone.

As summer continues and more holidays

Britney Sensabaugh (front) and Andrea Rose (back) attended AirEvac’s CPR class at the Batesville Lion’s Club Wednesday. Governor Phil Bryant declared this week YMCA Safety Around Water Week.
The Panolian Photo by Rita Howell

approach, be mindful of the dangers surrounding the many aquatic recreational activities available in and around Panola County.
For more information on water safety please visit the Mississippi State Department of Health online at msdh.ms.gov.