Mentor Safety Village

Where Children Learn Safety For Life ™

Water Safety
Mentor Safety Village presents this safety information as another way of showing our commitment to reducing injuries and keeping the public up to date with the most current safety issues and information.

Facts About Water Safety
 More than one in four fatal drowning victims are children 14 and younger. For every child who dies from drowning, another four received emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
 Nonfatal drownings can cause brain damage that may result in long-term disabilities including memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (i.e., permanent vegetative state).
 Although drowning rates have slowly declined,fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years.
 Alcohol use is involved in many drownings: 25-50% of adolescent and adult drownings involve alcohol use. In 40-50% of drownings among adolescent boys, alcohol is a major contributing factor.
 Nine of 10 drowning-related deaths occurred while a child was “reportedly” being supervised.
 Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental injury-related death among children ages one to 14 and the leading cause of accidental injury-related death among children ages one to four

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Time Matters
Drowning could easily be called “The Silent Killer” because when a child goes under water, they seldom make a single sound. Literally, seconds count when a child goes under water:
30 seconds to 1 minute - the airway closes and the child’s lips turn blue.

1 to 2 minutes - the child loses consciousness.

2 to 5 minutes - the heart can stop. The child still has a chance of survival if rescued now.

5 minutes or more - permanent brain damage is occurring as each second ticks by.

Types of Personel Flotation Devices (PFD)

Types I PFDs, or offshore lifejackets, are the most buoyant PFDs and suitable for all water conditions, including rough or isolated water where rescue may be delayed.  Although bulky in comparison to Type II and III PFDs, offshore jackets will turn most unconscious individuals to the face-up position.  They range in sizes from adult to child.


Type II PFDs, or near-shore buoyancy vests, are for calm and open water where a rescue will occur quickly.  They are not designed for long periods in rough water.  These vests will turn some, but not all, unconscious wearers face-up in the water.  Some inflatable Type II models will turn wearers to the face-up position as well as a Type I PFD.  This vest is less bulky than a Type I and often the least expensive of the PFD types.  Type II PFDs are available in a variety of sizes.


Type III PFDs, or flotation aids, are for calm and open water where a rescue will likely occur quickly.  These PFDs are designed to keep the wearer in a vertical position.  It is the wearer's responsibility to maneuver themselves into a face-up position, usually accomplished by tilting their head back.  Type III inflatable models will keep unconscious wearers face-up as well as a Type II inherently buoyant vest.  This PFD is not recommended for rough water conditions.  These PFDs are the most comfortable to wear and popular for recreation boating and fishing.  Type III PFDs come in various sizes from adult to child.
Type IV PFDs, or throwable devices, are for calm conditions where rescue will happen quickly.  Not designed to be worn, these PFDs are tossed to a conscious person who can hold onto it for flotation until rescued.  A square buoyant cushion, a life ring, or a horseshoe buoy, are some Type IV examples.
Type V PFDs are also referred to as special use devices.  These devices are to be worn for specific activities as described on the unit's label.  To be effective Type V PFDs must be used in accordance with the label's specifications.  Many must be worn at all times in order to qualify as a PFD. 
Straight From The Safety House
Starring: Dave Zalba
©2008 produced by the Mentor Firefighters' Historical Association Media division
Reducing Your Risk in The Water
 Make sure an adult is constantly watching young children swimming, playing, or bathing in water. Do not read, play cards, talk on the phone, mow the lawn, or do any other distracting activity while supervising children around water.
 Learn CPR (cardio-pulmonary resusitation). This applies particularly to pool owners and water sports enthusiasts.
 To prevent choking, never chew gum or eat while swimming, diving, or playing in water.
 Never drink alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Never drink alcohol while supervising children around water. Teach teenagers about the danger of drinking alcohol and swimming, boating, or water skiing.
 For more tips click the Red Cross logo below

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