This Party Can Save a Life: Why a CPR Party Should Be Part of Your Summer Plans
It’s officially the start of summer, which means pool time for families. And June is Water Safety Awareness Month. Would you be interested in a new initiative that is helping parents learn the necessary training for CPR? A CPR Party. As a bonus: These trainings are done in a party format, in the comfort of home.
So, why is this so important? Drowning is the #1 killer of children ages 1 – 4.
The CPR Party is a non-profit initiative that organizes one-hour CPR training with qualified instructors. Though not a certification course, the training will arm participants with the confidence and skills to perform CPR and use an AED in the event of an emergency.
To learn more about CPR parties, EverydayFamily.com’s Natalie Sudia talked with Laura Metro, the founder of CPR Party. Metro began by telling her story, the reason why she founded CPR Party.
“Around 11 AM on June 18, 2011, my three-year-old son Clay almost died by drowning in a community pool. Our friends were watching he and our six-year-old daughter Maison, while my husband and I took my father's dog on a jog. We were in Bethany Beach, DE on vacation/dog sitting. We arrived on the scene to our daughter running out of the pool screaming, “I think Clay died! I think Clay died!” My husband and I ran into the pool to find Clay, laying on the pool deck, blue, lifeless, with no breath or heartbeat.
Our friend was doing “his version” of CPR, pretty much what he'd seen on TV. The paramedics arrived. They got his heartbeat back, intubated Clay on the scene, shot IVs into his knees and started hypothermia treatment. Clay and I were medevaced to Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. My husband and our friend who performed the CPR drove two hours in silence from the beach to the hospital. Clay was in a coma for two days. The good news is, he made a miraculous recovery and is a healthy eight-year-old boy!”
Of course, Clay’s miraculous recovery is not the typical outcome to drowning stories. In fact, according to The CPR Party website, “for every death by drowning, there are eight non-fatal drowning events. These children and adults usually sustain brain injuries that require lifetime medical care. As a result, families are destroyed emotionally and financially. The total cost of non-fatal drowning is $6.2 billion annually and it's totally preventable.”
With this in mind, Metro gave some more details about CPR Parties. A CPR Party is more cost effective than traditional certification courses and less time-consuming. You’ll need to gather a group of at least ten people and your instructor will provide an in home one-hour CPR awareness course for you. It’s done in the comfort of a home, like a Tupperware party or jewelry party. The party can begin with snacks or food, and then the instructor will go over water safety and CPR tailored to the needs of your group. For example, with children, you’re most likely looking at an airway issue (not cardiac arrest), so there will be a focus on breaths as well as chest compressions.
Metro added that these parties are important for another reason. 80% of drowning events happen at home, so most likely you’ll be performing CPR on someone you know and love. These parties are an awareness course, they do not give you a certification, but you’ll know what to do in the event of an emergency. For more questions about a CPR Party, check out the FAQ page.
Metro also wanted to spread awareness about all the resources that are available to families about water safety. The CPRParty™ is proud to be a member of Families United to Prevent Drowning, a collective of moms, dads, sisters and brothers who are committed to preventing tragedies in the water. Together they say, not one more. #notonemoredrowning
On The CPR Party website, there is a very touching In Memory section, that has a collection of stories from Families United to Prevent Drowning with resources attached to every story. Warning! These stories can be hard to read. But the resources are invaluable.
For example, Abigail’s (Abbey) story is connected to Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation. Her story focuses on the importance of safe pool drain covers for residential pools. Abbey's Hope also has a very powerful PSA about what drowning is really like. Christian’s story talks about the importance of water safety protocol at summer camps. Christian inspired the CEF Foundation.Colin's story is part of Colin's Hope. It also has a water safety quiz that is specifically for parents, caregivers, and babysitters to take before they take children near water. And these are just a few of many stories and foundations.
Pool Safely has a water safety pledge that Metro and Clay both took (so did the very famous Nicole and Michael Phelps!). Take the pledge here. And Pool Safely has free materials for everyone, like signs and Water Watcher tags.
And for young children, there are some great water safety books you can read to them. Josh the Baby Otter book focuses on water safety and how you should never swim without a buddy. It’s a nice, soft way to deliver a message. Another book, Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim, is a child’s first guide to water safety.
Metro concluded with these tips:
1) Put away toys after pool use. Make sure cleaning up is part of pool time fun.
2) Learn to swim. You’re never too young or old to take lessons. Learn to float on your back. This can save your life.
3) Appoint an adult “water watcher” to ensure children are supervised near water. Use a tag to designate an adult to watch the kids. Rotate every 15 minutes.
4) Anyone watching kids by the water should have basic first aid knowledge and CPR training. Get certified in CPR or host a CPR party.
5) Have a pool fence installed. Use a self-latching gate.
6) Use appropriate lighting by the pool. Make sure your pool/water is well-lit for night swimming.
7) Never swim alone. Be a social swimmer – always swim with a buddy.
8) Wear a life vest. It’s simple, but it can save a life.
9) Use safe drain covers. Make sure your drain is safe, and teach all swimmers to stay away from pool drains.
Please stay safe this summer! If you post any pictures of you or your family by the water this summer (especially family hand heart photos) include these hashtags in your post #CPRisgood4theheart and #notonemoredrowing. They may get reposted by the CPR Party!