Safety Watch Q & A: Water Safety - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Safety Watch Q & A: Water Safety

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We've reported three drownings since the end of June. Plus, a near-drowning just last week and we still have weeks of hot weather ahead of us. So, we're focusing on water safety in tonight's Safety Watch Q & A. Scott Carothers is the general manager of Wild Island. He's also a certified lifeguard and instructor. If you have a question for him, call 858-2222 between 5pm - 6pm tonight.

1) FIRST OF ALL, HOW QUICKLY CAN SOMEONE DROWN - IF NOT SPOTTED OR RESCUED IN TIME?
It really depends on the scenario. There have been cases that it's happened in about 30 seconds, it's quick.

2) IF YOU SEE A SWIMMER STRUGGLING TO STAY AFLOAT, YOU MIGHT INSTINCTIVELY THINK IT'S BEST TO GO IN AFTER THEM YOURSELF.  WHAT, AS A FIRST RESPONDER, DO YOU RECOMMEND?
It's best not to go in after them and try and help if you do not know how to do so properly. Often times if someone goes in to try and help someone in trouble, they become a victim as well. It's best to know exactly where they are at and try and get help. If you absolutely have to try and go after them, make sure you have some sort of device that can support both you and the person you are trying to help. However, I would never encourage someone who is not properly trained to try and save someone.

3) LOTS OF YOUNG SWIMMERS RELY ON FLOATATION DEVICES IN POOLS - THINGS LIKE WATER WINGS OR NOODLES.  
A) ARE THEY SAFE?  AND B) WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST RELIABLE TYPE OF FLOATATION DEVICE FOR KIDS?
You really want to look for things that are Coast Guard approved. You want something that secures around the child's torso and mid section. Things like water wings can actually push a child's head under water and keep their arms afloat if something happens. 

The best type is a "Type 1" life jacket. This will keep the head afloat and position the person on their back if they go unconscious or something happens.


4) WHAT OTHER SAFETY RULES DO YOU ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO FOLLOW?
Always go with a friend or a group of friends, tell someone where you're going and how long you will be there. Never drink before getting in the water, impaired judgment can be deadly. Most importantly use common sense, if you feel like something could be dangerous or not end well, just don't do it.

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