Water Safety at Home

June 13, 2018

 

Keep your family safe around the pool this summer with safer water, safer kids and a safer response.

 

This summer, many of us will be spending time splashing in our backyard pools, wading pools and bathtubs, staying cool and enjoying the warm weather. While lounging around the pool is a great way to get some relief from the South Florida heat, it is important to remember to always take the proper precautions.

 

Unfortunately, Florida leads the country in drowning-related deaths for children ages 1-4 years. As a parent or guardian, It’s not only backyard pools you should be wary of, a small child can drown in as little as three inches of water.

 

While there will always be some degree risk associated with being in or around the water, being prepared and taking the necessary safety precautions can help your family feel safer around the water.

 

The Safer 3

 

One of the best methods for preventing drowning-related incidents is to identify any and all potential risks, and developing a strategy to reduce and manage those risks. The SAFER 3 Initiative developed by the Stop Drowning Now foundation outlines safer water, safer kids, and safer response as the main risk areas for drowning and provides strategies on how to manage them.

 

Safer water

 

  • Homeowners are encouraged to identify and mitigate any potential drowning risks.
     

  • Install a fence, at least five feet high, around the perimeter of your pool or spa. Self-closing gates equipped with a lock provide an extra layer of security.
     

  • Install sensors that alert an exit or entry on all doors and windows that lead to the pool or other large bodies of water.
     

  • Drain bathtubs and buckets immediately after use. Be sure to keep bathroom and laundry room doors closed.
     

  • Store buckets, wheelbarrows, wading pools, or any other objects that may collect rainwater upside down.

 

Safer kids

 

Behavior is a crucial component of home water safety, both in children and adults.

 

  • Swimming lessons are a fun way to teach children about water safety, while developing a potentially life-saving skill.
     

  • Adults should always supervise children around water.
     

  • Whenever there is a lot of activity in the pool area, adults should take turns as Water Watchers, ensuring the pool is monitored at all times.
     

  • Flotation devices are not a substitute for adult supervision.
     

  • Keep toys and flotation devices away from the pool when they are not being used to avoid attracting children.

Safer response

 

Developing a clear plan for how to respond to a water emergency can be the difference between life and death. Even those without pools, or waterfronts, should consider what they would do in the event of a drowning.

 

  • Develop an emergency response plan and make sure everyone in your household — including caregivers — knows what to do in the event of a drowning incident.
     

  • If a child is missing, always check the water first, every second counts.
     

  • Learn CPR. CPR training can provide lifesaving help while waiting for the paramedics to arrive. Keep CPR instructions posted near your pool in case of an emergency.
     

  • Always have a phone within reach when supervising children in or around the water.
     

  • Keep lifesaving equipment such as life rings or reaching poles near the pool or body of water.

 

Develop a response plan

 

In an emergency, panic is your enemy. Having a plan to fall back on can inhibit the urge to give into your anxieties.

 

The first thing you’ll want to do in the event of an emergency is to get the victim safely out of the water. Every minute counts.

 

This is where knowing CPR becomes an invaluable skill. Begin CPR immediately after safely removing the victim from the water. If there is someone nearby, have them call 911 immediately.

 

If there is not, call 911 once the victim is safely out of the water.

 

Continue CPR or chest compressions until professional help arrives. Even if the victim begins breathing, a medical examination is critical to ensure the well being of the victim.

 

The importance of swimming lessons—especially in South Florida

 

South Florida’s beautiful weather brings with it an abundance of water hazards. While we can do our best to create a safer water environment in our own homes, there is always an associated risk.

 

Regular swimming lessons can help children feel safer, more comfortable, and confident in the water.

 

If you’re ready to take the step towards protecting your child from water danger and nurturing a lifetime of enjoyment, we encourage you to explore our fun, safety-focused swimming lessons. We’re looking forward to not only making your lives safer but fun too!

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