Be vigilant – prevent a tragic drowning

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA — As we seek opportunities to cool off and have fun outdoors during the summer heat, it is so important that families be mindful of the dangers of water visits.

The San Francisco Chronicle recently covered the tragic drownings at Lake Berryessa. The regional director for American Medical Response Napa reported that they received 22 emergency medical calls Memorial Day weekend alone, compared to 90 emergency medical calls all of last year.

One particular swimming danger is that people often don’t realize how tired they can be after spending the day in the sun. They can become exhausted while swimming much quicker than they expect.

Drowning is a particularly high risk for children 1-4 years old. It takes the lives of more California toddlers than any other kind of accident.


As any parent knows, kids can be incredibly active and curious, and they learn new skills every day. Witnessing this growing curiosity and growth can be one of the most exciting parts of parenthood, but it’s also a reason why parents must be especially concerned about drowning incidents. One day a child may suddenly learn how to open a sliding door to the yard, or open a gate surrounding a pool.

By combining two methods – adult supervision and safety barriers – you can keep children in your care safe.

California’s Department of Public Health (CDPH) created a list of helpful tips.

First, please remember that supervision of children around water is not “normal” supervision, where a child can be checked on every couple of minutes. Rather, an adult must have direct sight of a child around water at all times. When children play in or around a pool, spa or other bodies of water, CDPH recommends assigning a “water watcher.” This person should keep the child in direct sight, and then relieve the watcher every 20 minutes or so.

Another important reminder, especially for homeowners with pools, is to always look first in the pool or spa if a child is missing. Every second counts in an emergency water situation.

Finally, keep things that children can climb on, like chairs, away from pool fences and gates, and place rescue equipment, such as a safety ring, near a pool or spa.

You can find all of these tips and more at

Safety barriers

After an incredibly challenging last year, we all deserve to make happy memories with our friends and loved ones. This summer, let’s join together to make a commitment to not allow any drownings to occur in our community by educating ourselves on water safety, enclosing our home pools and spas with safety barriers and being mindful whenever around water.

If you would like to learn more about safety tips or to connect to additional resources, please call my Concord district office at the number below.

Reach Assemblyman Tim Grayson at (925) 521-1511. Visit or write the district office 2151 Salvio Street, Suite P, Concord, CA 94520