JACKSON, Miss. – In 2004, the No. 1 cause of accidental deaths on farms among Farm Bureau members in Mississippi was drowning in farm ponds. We can help reduce these drownings by placing a farm pond safety post near our ponds.
A farm pond safety post consists of a post with hooks on each side placed in the ground. A 14-foot cane pole should be placed against one hook and a 1-gallon milk jug on the other.
Put a little sand in the bottom of the milk jug to give it some weight and about 50 feet of rope attached to it so it can be thrown and retrieved.
If you own a boat, this can also be used as a life-saving device. Remember to remind people that these items are life-saving equipment and not to be played with.
Reaching assist. A reaching assist is the best way to get someone out of the water. Using the cane pole, keep your weight back and extend the pole to the person in trouble, then pull them to shore. If the victim is beyond the length of the cane pole, use the gallon milk jug as a throwing assist.
A drowning person will grab anything within his or her reach. The jug will keep a 200-pound person’s head above water, and that’s all it takes to keep them alive.
If a boat is handy, you can use it, but make sure the drowning victim enters over the back of it. If he or she tries to enter over the side of a small boat, they could turn it over. Then you have more than one person in the water.
The last thing you should ever do is attempt a swimming rescue. If you have not had a minimum of advanced lifesaving, you should never go into the water after anyone, not even a child.
A drowning victim will go to the highest part of your body – your head. They will push you under water and this normally results in a double drowning.
CPR. Everyone should learn CPR and rescue breathing. These are two life-saving techniques that are easy to learn.
An ambulance could be as much as 30 minutes away from your farm, and every second counts.
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