PARENTING | 6.23.15 | by Terra Wellington
Every summer there are sad stories of children drowning in pools, or near drownings. After two recent near-drownings in the Savannah, Georgia area with children who were in the shallow portion of the pool, Fire Chief Wayne Noha said “It’s so important to keep a constant eye on children while they’re in the water. Those parents in both instances said they only turned away for a moment, and [the children] were both at the bottom of the pool.” What steps should you take for swimming pool safety?
According to the “Pool Safely” campaign by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, pool drowning is completely preventable if you take the steps necessary to protect you and your family.
Here’s a comprehensive list for parents to protect your children around water ⬇
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How to Prevent a Pool Drowning
Teach Water Safety
- Teach by example — make sure that you as the parent know how to swim first
- Then, from an early age (thought it’s never too late to learn), teach your children to swim
- Learn how to perform CPR in case of a drowning emergency — your local Red Cross or city Parks and Recreation are resources for classes. This is also a great activity for your child’s Boy Scout or Girl Scout Troop, or for a church-sponsored activity for all the families in your congregation.
- Teach your children basic water safety and the rules you have for going into the water. The Adventures of Splish and Splash free interactive games are great tools.
Have Proper Equipment at the Pool or Spa
- All home pools and spas should have a 4-foot fence surrounding the pool or spa with self-closing and self-latching gates.
- If your child goes to a friend’s or neighbor’s pool that does not have a fence, consider the swimming skills of your child before doing so. Also ask if a parent will be watching your child whether there is a gate or not.
- All spas should have a lockable cover.
- If you have a home window facing a pool or spa with no fence, make sure there is a child-proof lock on that window and an alarm. Kids see water and they’ll find creative ways to get to it, whether they can swim or not.
- Consider installing a pool alarm — this is a device that can be set to detect movement in the water. Good Housekeeping did a series of tests on pool alarms and found that the safest pool alarms were MG International Sensor Espio, RJE Technologies AquaGuard, MG International Swim Alert, Poolguard PGRM-2, and the Safety Turtle Wireless Wristband Alarm (recommended as a supplement, not replacement, for a pool alarm).
Never Leave Your Child Unattended Around Water
- No amount of swim lessons, fences, or alarms can fully replace the need to have an adult watching children around water. Always have an adult present and watching what is happening in the water if no lifeguard is on duty.
- If you are visiting a home or enjoying recreation around water, be extra vigilant. Your child will be extra curious, so have caution.
Finally, this is an excellent video from the National Drowning Prevention Alliance that outlines the above steps and more — including some very helpful explanations about the types of pool fence to buy, what to look for in latches, drain protections, and other very clear and necessary advice in a visual format.[youtube id=”PxJZLAacUOY” width=”600″ height=”350″ autoplay=”no” api_params=”” class=””][/youtube]
Do you have water protection tips and advice?
Let us know in the comments below ⬇