Summer is almost officially here, but many families have already hit the pool. Maybe you are one of them! But did you know these alarming facts about swimming danger reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)?
Before you head to the beach or jump into that pool, read over this list to make sure you and your child are prepared for a safe day in the sun!
How can you protect your child from accidental injury or drowning?
- Never leave your child unattended near a body of water. Always keep close supervision of children in pools, spas, hot tubs, bathtubs, or any other natural or unnatural body of water. It only takes a second for a child to slip under the water!
- Knowledge is key! Teach your child how to swim or enroll him in a swimming class. Many communities offer low-cost or free classes. Check with your local parks and recreation office.
- Always keep a fence around your pool. Even if you have an above ground pool, make sure the entire pool, including the stairwell, is fenced in, gated, and locked at all times. Not only would it be incredibly sad, but if a child or rascally teenager wanders into your yard and falls in or gets injured, you could be held liable for that person’s injuries.
- Keep a cover on your spa or hot tub when not in use.
- Always insist on a floatation device approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. If you are in a water craft on a body of water, make sure everyone is wearing an approved life vest. If a child is not a strong swimmer, make sure she is wearing a floatation device.
- Where applicable, only swim when a life guard is on duty. Make sure an adult who can swim is present when children are swimming in a large body of water.
Review these “Tips to Help You Stay Safe In the Water” from the CDC.
- When your family is swimming, keep a telephone close by.
- Learn CPR. Many communities offer free one-day classes at hospitals, schools, and recreation centers.
- Learn to swim so that you are prepared to save a child in distress.
Related Articles and Websites:
Residential Pool and Spa Owners from Pool Safely offers guidelines for ensuring your pool or spa is kept safe
Injury Prevention & Control: Home and Recreational Safety: Water-Related Injuries from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act) was enacted by Congress and signed by President Bush on December 19, 2007. Learn more…
“Simple Steps Save Lives” from Pool Safely (accessed 31 May 2013)
“Unintentional Drowning: Get the Facts. What factors influence drowning risk?” and “Tips to help you stay safe in the water” from CDC (page last updated 29 November 2012, accessed 31 May 2013)