In Florida, water safety is a part of life. No matter where you go there is water, pools, the ocean, and canals. Water is everywhere. From Memorial Day to Labor Day 2014, 10 children died from drowning in Florida. This is too many, according to concerned community groups. This is why Programs like the Pool Safely campaign, a national education-based campaign promoted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, works to decrease the number of child drowning. It teaches people how to prevent and protect themselves and their kids.
An integral part of that program is The Pool Safely Pledge. Both adults and children sign and date a pledge that promises to abide by water safety rules. In essence, it provides simple steps that ensures that children and adults stay safe in and around pools and spas.
Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa. If you cannot reach them, they are too far away.
Have a lifeguard.
Designate someone to assume the responsibilities of a lifeguard. This person will supervise children in the pool, including the deck, areas around the pool.
When children are involved, those watching should not be reading, texting, using a smart phone or be otherwise distracted.
Know how to swim.
Learn to swim, and teach child how to swim.
Learn to perform CPR on children.
Practice pool safety.
Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
Maintain and upgrade as needed.
Ensure any pool and spa has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards. If you are unsure of the standards then ask your pool maintenance company for their expert advice.
One of the best ways to prevent accidents is to take advantage of the many community sponsored swimming programs. Learn to make swimming safety a part of your summer fun. When everyone in the family is taught to play safe, then safety becomes a family affair.
As a family, you should constantly review these and other water safety rules to avoid being complacent or careless. These include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Do not rely on swimming lessons for your child’s safety. There is no substitute for supervision.
- Never leave a child. Nothing is so important that a child should be left alone, even for a moment.
- Don’t leave toys or other items in the pool. They are too tempting for children who may try to retrieve them when no one is around.
- Don’t use equipment or flotation devices to replace supervision.
- Do not leave the important task of supervision to people who are too young, or too irresponsible to understand the importance of the duty.
- Don’t forget that drowning is silent – you won’t hear splashing or yelling.
- Do not use the pool area for storage, or holiday/party decorations.
- Do install a poolside phone.
- Do install layers of barriers around the pool. This can include fences, alarms, child proof latches.
- Do remove plants, furniture, and other items that block your view of the pool.
- Do make sure everyone knows the basic emergency rescue techniques.
- Do install rescue equipment. Make sure it is within easy reach when needed.
Safety can become a part of the summer’s fun, instead of a chore or ‘after thought.’ For more information, visit http://www.poolspalmbeaches.com/tag/pool-safety-tips/.
“Swimming pools conjure up feelings of calmness, relaxation, and refreshment. But don’t forget safety first when it comes to water.” Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches.