Water Safety Tips
Children are naturally drawn to pools, hot tubs, lakes, ponds, streams, and beaches. As soon as your baby can crawl, your baby NEEDS TO LEARN TO SWIM. Statistics reveal that the younger the child is, the more chances they have of drowning.
No child should be able to walk into a pool area alone! Things happen, be proactive! When not using your pool, keep everything locked, at ALL times.
Drowning Prevention Tips:
✓ Kids are attracted to water, Always watch your child in and around water
✓ Keep a cell phone or cordless phone pool side for emergency use
✓ Install a safety fence or alarm around pools and ponds
✓ Install locks and alarms on doors
✓ Learn CPR
✓Enroll children in swimming lessons that teaches survival swimming skills "Because it only takes a second”
The Layers of Protection:
Pool time can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to incorporate layers of protection to prevent a fun summer day from becoming a family’s worst nightmare. Supervision, barriers and emergency preparedness serve as a safety net, keeping a child safe and helping to prevent a drowning.
Layer 1. Supervision:
Supervision, the first and most crucial layer of protection, means someone is always actively watching when a child is in the pool.
LAYER 1: SUPERVISION Drowning can be a silent catastrophe, one that can happen in the few minutes you take to answer a phone call or run inside for a towel. In 2008, 71% of drownings occurred in residential swimming pools. Supervision, the first and most crucial layer of protection, means someone is always actively watching when a child is in the pool.
The "Backyard Barbecue" Scenario
Imagine a barbecue with friends and neighbors gathered around the pool, eating and drinking, while the kids splash in the pool. But who’s watching the kids? Everyone, right? Or no one. In a situation like this, it’s easy to assume someone else is watching. DON’T ASSUME. At every moment, make sure someone is assigned the role of "water watcher" and does nothing else but focus on the children at all times.
The "In the House" Scenario
When you get home after a long day at work, there are many things that need to get done around the house: laundry, cleaning, cooking, packing school lunches. It can be very easy for a parent to be distracted by chores. As the parents are busy around the house, they may open a backyard door and forget to close it, leaving an opportunity for a small child to wander outdoors and easily gain entry into the pool. That is why barriers are so important. Incorporating childproof locks, door alarms and a pool gate sets obstacles between a child and the pool, making it more difficult to gain access and alerting parents when a child opens a door and is outside.
Layer 2. Barriers:
A child should never be able to enter the pool area unaccompanied by a guardian. Barriers physically block a child from the pool. Barriers include: child-proof locks on all doors, a pool fence with self-latching and self-closing gates, as well as door and pool alarms. Pool covers may also be used but make sure it is a professional cover, fitted for your pool. A simple canvas covering can be a drowning hazard and entrap a child in the water.
Layer 3. Emergency Preparedness:
The moment a child stops breathing there is a small, precious window of time in which resuscitation may occur, but only if someone knows what to do. Even if you're not a parent, it’s important to learn CPR. The techniques are easy to learn and can mean the difference between life and death. In an emergency, it is critical to have a phone nearby and immediately call 911.
WATER SAFETY RESOURCES
1. Effective Supervision
The most critical line of defense is adult supervision. No level of aquatic skill can replace active supervision. If your child is ever missing, look in the water first.
2. Pool Fences
Install a permanent 4-sided fence with self-locking gates. Ensure that the pool fence is at least 3-5 feet from the pool edge.
Make sure all doors and windows leading to the pool are locked and alarmed.
4. Survival Swimming Lessons
A moment's inattention does not have to cost a child his life. Safety First Swim School training is an added layer of protection, teaching your child water survival skills in a completely safe environment.
If an emergency happens, it is essential parents and families are prepared. Learn to perform CPR on children and adults and remember to update those skills regularly.