The Safer 3: A Guide to Staying Safer in the Water
Any body of water creates a risk for drowning – whether it’s a pool, the ocean, or even a bathtub. In all cases, there are ways you can reduce the related risks.
This isn’t meant to scare you, but when it comes to water there’s no such thing as “safe.” If you look that word up in the dictionary, you’ll see it means free from risk of harm or danger. We can’t breathe underwater, which means there’s always going to be risk when we are in or around it.
The Safer 3 initiative, promoted by the Stop Drowning Now Water Safety Foundation, provides useful tips for keeping your family safer in or around the water.
Any body of water creates a risk for drowning – whether it’s a pool, the ocean, or even a bathtub. In all cases, however, there are ways you can reduce the related risks.
Experts recommend isolation fencing at least five feet high, equipped with self-closing and latching gates. It should completely surround your pool to prevent access whether it’s from the house or from the yard.
Homeowners should install sensors on doors or windows that exit to a pool area, so people are alerted if someone heads in that direction.
Never prop the gate to your pool open. It may be tempting because the latches are difficult to operate, but this is exactly why they work in providing a good layer of protection.
Install compliant drain covers in your pool and spa.
If you’re an adult, get in the habit of assuming constant responsibility to supervise children around water. Kids must learn – as young as possible – swimming and basic safety skills.
Having a party or social gathering? Designate an adult water watcher to monitor the pool area at all times.
Keep constant visual contact with children near water. If you discover that a child is missing, check the water first. Every second counts if they must be rescued or resuscitated.
Flotation devices should never be used as a substitute for adult supervision.
Drowning is silent. Children can slip under the water without ever making a sound.
Keep toys out of the pool when they’re not being used. They can attract children.
Even if your children know how to swim, always maintain constant adult supervision when children or in, on or around the water. This is also important for children who may be wearing life preservers.
Emergency response techniques save lives. Learn first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Keep a phone out by the pool at all times.
Post CPR instructions by your pool or spa.
Keep rescue equipment and a first aid kit poolside or by your spa.
A safer experience around water starts with feeling confident about your ability to swim. We believe it’s so important that is a part of our mission statement. It’s a necessary life skill and an important part of any water safety program.
Let’s all work on keeping our children safer around the water. Learn more about our lessons for this age group here.