WATER SAFETY INFORMATION
We live in a region surrounded by water. Drowning tragedies happen far too often here, and throughout the U.S. According to DCF Florida, 88 children lost their lives due to drowning in Florida alone in 2018. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the number one cause of accidental death for infants and young children between the ages of 1-4. Survival swim lessons can prevent these tragedies and truly save lives.
As a drowning prevention resource for your family, I recommend a multi-layered approach towards water safety in your home.
5 LAYERS OF PROTECTION
ADULT SUPERVISION is the most important line of defense. Aquatic skill at any level cannot take the place of active supervision. If you cannot find your child always look in the water first.
Alarms and locks should be placed on all windows and doors that lead to the pool area.
3. Pool Fences
Ensure the gate of your pool fence is self-locking and that the pool fence is at least 3-5 feet from the edge of the pool.
4. Survival Swim Lessons
If all else fails, survival swim lessons are another vital layer of protection, teaching your child the skills necessary to survive whilst learning in a safe environment.
It is important that parents and other family members learn CPR on children and adults just in case of an emergency. Please remember that hose skills should be updated on a regular bases.
• SUPERVISION! SUPERVISION! SUPERVISION! This is the most important line of defense to prevent drowning.
• While watching your child in the pool give them your undivided attention- do not check your phone or get distracted by other adults around you.
• If there are multiple adults around the pool one should be designated as the POOL WATCHER so there is always an adult responsible for watching the pool. This can be segmented into 20 minute increments.
• Aim pool jets and in-floor jets to the shallow end of the pool to help push your child towards the steps if they happen to fall in.
• Keep the water level at the highest point for easy access to the wall for your little ones.
• A cry for help may not be heard over the sound of a loud waterfall.
• A pool fence with a self locking gate will help against anyone forgetting to close the gate.
• Please ensure all furniture, including children’s larger toys, cannot be easily pushed close to the pool fence and used as a ladder to enter the pool area.
• All windows and doors leading to the pool should be locked and alarmed. Doggy doors can be used to exit the house by curious toddlers, please take all necessary precautions.
• Alarms should sound indicating that someone has opened/closed a window, door, or gate or is trying to climb the fence or is in the pool area.
• Whilst supervising the pool area you should never answer the phone.
• A cell phone should be at the pool at all times for EMERGENCY USE ONLY!!
• Discourage curious children from entering the pool area by removing all pool toys from the pool and surrounding areas after swimming.
Educate Friends and Family
• If family/ friends are visiting, educate them about the importance of locking doors, closing gates, emptying larger buckets, and closing the toilet seat, etc.
• Be overly vigilant when hosting family or having parties in the home. It is during these times that there can be a breakdown in normal supervision.
• The first place a missing child should be looked for is the pool or spa.
Drain Entrapments are a SERIOUS danger.
• Drain covers can become broken, loose or missing and pose a grave threat. If you notice this in a public pool a lifeguard or pool manager should be notified immediately and you should refrain from entering the pool.
• Pools designed specifically for young children and in-ground spas that have single main drain systems and flat drain grates present the highest risk of entrapment.
Information provided by: www.PoolSafely.gov