Water Safety

Water Safety

Each year nationwide, about 300 children under age five drown in swimming pools. In Florida, drowning is the leading cause of death for this age. It only takes seconds for an unattended child to get into trouble in the backyard pool, canal or pond. Take a moment now to be prepared.

Step 1.Simple Steps, Saves Lives

Parents need to talk to their child about water safety. Here are some ideas to start with:

  • Don’t go near a pool without an adult. This is the most important water safety conversation to have because it is so simple.
  • If you see someone struggling in the water, don’t jump in to help. Run and get an adult.
  • And if you fall into a pool, don’t panic, turn around, find the wall, and climb out or yell for help. Practice this skill in the pool with your child. Have the child practice wearing clothing to experience the sensation.

Step 2.Remember water safety

  •  It can happen to you. Many parents who lost a child to drowning never considered that their child could be at risk; they just didn’t realize how close the danger was.
  • Take ownership of your child’s safety. Never rely on responsible behavior from your child, another child or other adults. Know who is watching your child when you can’t be there.
  • Don’t multitask. Pool time means your full attention is needed to properly supervise. Drowning happens quickly; most children die who are under water for as little as 6 minutes.
  • Have a response plan. If your child is missing, check the pool first, know CPR.

Step 3.Install Water Barriers

Install access doors to pools, spas and all water environments.

  • Door handles should be 5 feet above ground level.
  • Always keep locked.

Install alarms on access doors.

  • Do not deactivate alarms.
  • If the alarm can be temporarily turned off for adult to open the door, the deactivate button should be out of children’s reach.

Install pool safety barrier (four-sided) separating pool and/or backyard lake from home and all access doors and entrances.

  • Always leave barrier in place when pool is not in use.
  • Barrier should be 5 feet tall, self-closing and self-latching.

Install floating pool alarm.

  • Do not deactivate alarm.
  • Consider having pool alarm connected into your home alarm.

Learn CPR and rescue techniques.

  • Anyone over age 10 in your home should have CPR training.
  • Baby sitters and caregivers should also be trained.
  • 911 dispatchers can give CPR instruction over the phone.