Drowning prevention is a critical yet often overlooked issue, particularly concerning the safety of young children. In the wake of her daughter Kourtney’s tragic drowning, Kristina Andrews took a stand against this silent crisis by founding ‘Kourtney’s Kause.’ Her initiative stands as a poignant example of transforming personal loss into a force for greater awareness and education in water safety. Kristina’s journey underscores the vital need for water competency, proactive measures, and the tools and knowledge for families to protect their loved ones.

We are proud to announce our November 2023 Water Safety Champion of The Month, Kristina Andrews!

The Genesis of Kourtney’s Kause

Kristina’s journey began with a profound loss. After the drowning of her daughter, Kourtney, she faced an unsettling reality: there was only one Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) instructor in the entire Bay Area. As a mother determined to protect her six-month-old son and other children, she saw the need for accessible, affordable ISR lessons – a program that teaches infants and toddlers essential survival skills in water.

Kristina spearheaded efforts to bring ISR lessons to more families in the South Bay Area by starting Kourtney’s Kause. They focused on making these lessons not only accessible but also accommodating to various schedules, catering to both working and non-working parents. The organization expanded rapidly, now reaching over a 50-mile span, with aspirations to own an indoor space for year-round training.

However, Kristina’s vision extends beyond immediate survival skills. Kourtney’s Kause is currently developing a transition program for students who have completed survival swim lessons, aiming to bridge the gap to more advanced swimming techniques and strokes so that children can learn to acclimate to new physical attributes, weight, and buoyancy and maintain confidence in and around water.

Addressing Misinformation and Unifying the Approach

A crucial part of Kristina’s mission is addressing and correcting common misconceptions about drowning prevention. She emphasizes that ISR lessons are not about “throwing babies in water” but about gentle, gradual, and skilled instruction over a six-week course. Each ISR program is meticulously designed, differing significantly from non-certified programs that might imitate but not replicate ISR’s effectiveness and safety.

Along with addressing misinformation, the goal is to diminish the tension between different swimming methodologies. Kristina believes in a collaborative approach, where recognition from larger organizations can help break down barriers and foster a unified goal. Ideally, every child would start with survival swim lessons, with a seamless transition to more advanced techniques as they grow. Kourtney’s Kause is working to set an example for others to follow by implementing transition lessons for children who have completed their ISR course.

Actionable Advice for Parents and Caregivers

In her journey, Kristina encountered a startling gap in awareness and information regarding water safety, especially from child advocates. Despite being a diligent parent, she was unaware of the risks associated with water, as she didn’t have a pool at home. This lack of awareness is common among many parents who may not perceive water as a significant danger if it isn’t a prominent feature in their daily lives. 

This oversight is something Kourtney’s Kause is striving to address. It’s a reminder that drowning doesn’t discriminate based on proximity to a pool or natural body of water. The organization’s efforts extend beyond physical swimming lessons to encompass education and advocacy, emphasizing that knowledge and awareness are crucial. This education aims to fill the void left by conventional child safety advice, ensuring that parents and caregivers are equipped with comprehensive information to safeguard their children in all environments, water included.

Thank You For Making A Difference In Water Safety!

Stories like Kristina’s, one of hope rising after profound loss, are a testament to the strength of the human spirit. They speak even more to the innate sense of responsibility to the people and world around us. It’s not just about teaching survival skills in the water but also about fostering a broader awareness of water safety and, in turn, saving lives.

Thank you for being a Water Safety Champion!

If you are making a difference in water safety and drowning prevention or know someone who is, we want to hear your story. 
Please take a moment to share the story on our website for a chance to be nationally recognized as a Water Safety Champion.

water safety champion of the month dr linda quan

Every year, thousands face the danger of drowning, making water safety a matter of paramount importance. The battle against drowning is one fueled by clinical observation, meticulous research, and deep passion. 

Few voices echo with as much authority and passion as Dr. Linda Quan’s. As an advocate for over four decades, her dedication and scientific rigor shine through every initiative she undertakes. 

We are proud to announce our October 2023 Water Safety Champion of The Month, Dr. Linda Quan.

The Origins of a Lifesaving Mission

Dr. Quan’s dedication to water safety was sparked during her pediatric residency and subsequent fellowship, where she encountered numerous out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, predominantly from drownings. Her collaboration with Medic One, groundbreaking in its time, exposed her to the harrowing realities of water-related incidents, especially a case involving a three-year-old. This propelled her to delve deeper into resuscitation and drowning prevention, ultimately establishing an exhaustive database detailing drowning events of children under 21. 

The effects of her efforts reverberated through governmental corridors, resulting in the enactment of laws targeting unmaintained pools.

Research and Study on Drowning

Dr. Quan’s endeavors highlighted an essential truth: there’s an alarming lack of scientific focus in the realm of drowning prevention. “It’s been kind of a free-for-all,” she remarks. Throughout her career, she has strived to elevate the discourse on drowning from anecdotal evidence to a science-driven one.

Her extensive research, including work on the U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan, underscores the critical role of documentation in identifying at-risk groups. For instance, toddlers are frequently recognized as a high-risk category, but we cannot overlook other demographics. Her research underscored the need for a comprehensive focus on drowning prevention, not just limited to children. While the pediatric world concentrates on the high-risk toddler group, Dr. Quan’s research suggests that the age bracket of teenagers to 24 years is also alarmingly susceptible.

A Holistic Approach to Prevention

One of the cornerstones of Dr. Quan’s efforts has been fostering community awareness. She has continually sought to rally various factions within the water safety community to unify their approaches. She brought together diverse stakeholders, including swim coaches, coroners, lifeguards, and marine patrol, ensuring a holistic approach to water safety. 

Her collaborations with entities like Seattle Children’s Hospital, the University of Washington School of Medicine, and various governmental bodies have been instrumental in drafting policies that bolster water safety. A prime example is the law mandating the fencing or covering of unmaintained pools. But there’s more to be done. Her county experienced no pediatric drownings over a span of three years, but, as she stresses, “This isn’t politics. This is what good government does.” 

Dr. Quan advocates for a more extensive community approach to water safety that addresses the entire age spectrum. She emphasizes the role of parents in not only safeguarding toddlers but also in educating older children about the distinct risks associated with open water.

She envisions a harmonized community approach, where all stakeholders rally behind a unified, evidence-based water safety initiative.

Moving Towards a Safer Future

As technology and medicine progress, Dr. Quan envisions a future where the tenets of resuscitation are further refined. There’s no denying the advancements in drowning resuscitation, but as Dr. Quan astutely points out, “people need to acquire skills and knowledge – at least the basics.” Resuscitation is an essential aspect, but the broader objective should be prevention. 

“What are the rules?” she poses, urging that foundational water safety knowledge be universally ingrained.

Thank You For Making A Difference In Water Safety!

Dr. Quan’s journey reminds us that the journey to comprehensive water safety is multifaceted, requiring not just expertise but heart. Her tireless work underscores the importance of data-driven solutions, the cornerstone of any effective preventative strategy. 

Yet, beyond the cold numbers lies an undying passion, a fervent belief that every life saved from drowning is a testament to the collective efforts of a community united in purpose.

Thank you for being a Water Safety Champion!

If you are making a difference in water safety and drowning prevention or know someone who has, we want to hear your story. 
Please take a moment to share the story on our website for a chance to be nationally recognized as a Water Safety Champion.

Water-related accidents, like drowning, remain a significant concern for parents and caregivers. As we strive to keep our children safe, it is essential to include our pediatricians in the conversation about water safety. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and NDPA have valuable resources for parents, caregivers, and pediatricians. We want to work together to make water safety a priority. 

AAP’s Commitment to Drowning Prevention and Water Safety for Parents

The American Academy of Pediatrics, a renowned authority in pediatric healthcare, has long been at the forefront of child safety efforts, including drowning prevention. Their dedication to protecting children is evident in their latest report on the prevention of drowning. Working together with your pediatrician is important because according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more children ages 1-4 die from drowning than any other cause of death. 

In AAP’s report on drowning prevention, they share the 5 evidence-based strategies: Barrier, Supervision, Swim Lessons, Life Jackets, and CPR. These evidence-based strategies are similarly shared with NDPA’s layers of protection. It is important to keep in mind that these strategies help to keep everyone safer, but remember, no one is drown-proof. 

AAP has shared a drowning prevention toolkit that is available online. This toolkit includes social media graphics, printable posters, videos, and information for parents. All of which are available for you to view. Some can be downloaded and shared in both English and Spanish. These are great resources to use and can help you spread the word on how to be safer in and around the water. 

NDPA Toolkit and Resources

NDPA has shared multiple toolkits. One of which is the Pediatrician Toolkit. This toolkit will be introduced at AAP National Conference & Exhibition in Washington, DC this October. You can come see us at booth 1940. This toolkit will be available on the NDPA website and available for everyone to download for free and it equips pediatricians with the tools and information necessary to engage with parents and caregivers on this critical topic. This update ensures that pediatricians have access to the most current and relevant information on drowning prevention, making them even more effective advocates for water safety. This toolkit can also be used as water safety for parents too.

There are more resources available from NDPA such as our Physician Resources. Here, you can find more information like a blog post on how to create a water safety plan for family vacations. If you’re planning a family trip in the future, this is a great resource to use and you can talk with your pediatrician about the best ways to keep you and your family safe. 

Working Together

Pediatricians are trusted healthcare professionals with a wealth of knowledge about child safety and development. Their guidance on water safety is invaluable and they can provide you with personalized recommendations based on your child’s age, developmental stage, and any specific health considerations. By engaging in conversations about water safety, it encourages proactive actions to protect your child from drowning accidents. 

We know that Pediatricians have many important topics to talk about, and we want to work together to make sure that conversations about water safety are happening. With a variety of resources available for everyone, we encourage you to continue to have these conversations. Together, we can make a difference and help to keep families and communities safe. Pediatricians are a known and trusted resource for child safety, and this extends to water safety. 

Drowning incidents have devastated families and communities, highlighting the urgent need for proactive measures, such as a water safety awareness program, to prevent such tragedies. By equipping communities with essential knowledge and preventive measures, we can empower them to protect their neighbors and loved ones, creating a safer, more secure environment for all. Together, we can prevent drowning accidents.

Understanding the Importance of Water Safety

Water safety is a critical concept. It extends beyond individual knowledge and well-being into the whole community. Water safety is more than just knowing how to swim. NDPA has resources available for you to learn about the 5 layers of protection. These layers include barriers and alarms, supervision, water competency, life jackets, and emergency preparation. Understanding these layers of protection can help keep you, your family, and your community safer in and around water. 

We know that it takes more than one person to make an impact on the drowning numbers; because, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that an average of 11 fatal drowning deaths happen per day and an additional average of 22 nonfatal drownings happen per day. Communities need to come together to share the best ways to keep the community safe.

Community-driven initiatives play an important role to educate, raise awareness, and provide resources for safer aquatic experiences. Creating and implementing a water safety awareness program fosters a sense of responsibility, empowering individuals to keep themselves and others safer. Additionally, they promote unity by bringing people together around a common goal. 

Bringing People and Resources together for Water Safety

Bringing the right people together in your community helps to bring different perspectives and knowledge to the table. This is also one of the key components listed from the U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan (USNWSAP). These people can include local government officials, community leaders, local organizations, parents, and others who are dedicated to making a difference in their community. 

Empowering people to share your water safety message and be engaged within your community will help to create a bigger sense of community and togetherness. Encourage active participation from all demographics in your area. This can include families of a certain age to attend a water safety workshop together. Since drowning can happen to anyone at any age, consider bringing in teens and adults as well. This can give everyone a stake in the water safety awareness program. 

Looking at what your community needs in their water safety awareness program is important and each community will look different. From here, you can find different resources that are available to share with your community and help to educate more people about water safety. You can check out this NDPA blog about NDPA Water Safety Resources to find additional information. 

Understanding what water features your community has will help you identify the key components of awareness and education for your community. From here, you can choose which resources you will need. You can find additional information and resources from other trusted sources like the American Academy of Pediatrics toolkit and the American Red Cross. In your community, it may be helpful to work with your school board and introduce a water safety curriculum to be implemented. There are many resources available, so finding what you need and sharing it within your community can help to decrease drowning accidents. 

Putting your Water Safety Awareness Program into Action 

Now that you know what you’ve brought people in your community together, you have an understanding of the needs of your community for your water safety awareness program, and you have found amazing resources, how do you get that information out to your community? 

There are multiple ways to do this, and again, each community will be different. The USNWSAP provides additional information to help guide you to have a successful water safety awareness program. Following their outline of gathering the different stakeholders, understanding what your community specific water related needs are and understanding the available data leads to you being able to explore potential actions to address the drowning issue with your community.

Following this, you can prioritize your goals and create S.M.A.R.T. goals and be able to launch and implement your plan within your community. Then you can monitor your success and be able to celebrate progress to maintain momentum. 

Furthermore, you can create engaging workshops on water safety guidelines and techniques such as the 5 layers of protection as listed by the NDPA. You can involve local entities to share their knowledge and give your community members an opportunity to learn more skills from groups like local Lifeguards, Firefighters, Police Officers, and other Emergency Services personnel.

Continuing to engage with the members of your community will keep the message of water safety awareness alive even when it’s not summer too. There is no wrong time of the year to learn more about water safety. 

By advocating for a neighborhood water safety awareness program, communities can proactively address water-related risks and empower residents of all ages with essential life-saving knowledge. The key to success lies in the tailored approach and active involvement of community members, making water safety everyone’s responsibility.

Together, we can create a safer environment for our loved ones and strengthen the bonds within our neighborhoods.

water safety resources

Welcome to our Water Safety Resources Center! A dedicated space where we endeavor to empower our readers with life-saving knowledge, insights, and practical resources on maintaining safety in and around water. Water is a source of joy and relaxation for many, but it can quickly become a place of danger without the proper safety measures. 

Given the critical importance of water safety, especially for children, we have curated a collection of invaluable resources, expert advice, and the latest research findings aimed at fostering a safer interaction with water environments. 

Whether you are a parent, educator, pediatrician, swim instructor, or water enthusiast, we want to provide the tools and information necessary to prevent water-related accidents and emergencies. 

Join us in our mission to stop drowning by making water safety a priority and equipping yourself and your loved ones with the knowledge to enjoy water responsibly and securely!

Water Safety At Home

Infant Water Safety

Water Safety for Adults

Open Water Safety

Water Safety for Kids

Water Safety Policy and Legislation

*The NDPA does not necessarily endorse the policies and legislations below. We work to share the latest information with stakeholders.

Water Safety Toolkits

Water Safety Career Paths

5 Layers of Protection

Water Safety for Every Season

Water Safety Checklists

Water Safety Champion

Water Safety in the US

Global Water Safety

NDPA Education & Gatherings

Drowning incidents, whether fatal or nonfatal, continue to be a serious concern in the United States. Drowning affects individuals of all ages and backgrounds all across the country. It is the single leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In an effort to make dramatic changes to these numbers, key stakeholders have come together over the last four years to create and officially launch the U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan (USNWSAP).

This collaborative effort sets out a plan for 2023-2032, including how the field can work together and make a difference in the drowning numbers. This is an update from our previous blog on the USNWSAP. 

Uniting for a Common Goal

The launch of the USNWSAP marks a pivotal moment in our nation’s commitment to addressing the drowning rates. According to the CDC, an average of 11 fatal drownings happen every day. The launch of this plan brings everyone together to tackle this issue head-on.

Within the USNWSAP you will find 99 recommendations for action, a list of national implications that will support the uptake of recommendations at the community, county, and state levels, and guidance documents to start your work addressing drowning in your local area. A research agenda, an implementation database, and additional guidance tools and resources will be released later this year.

The Wonder of Collaboration For the U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan

The USNWSAP includes guidance on a 12-step Reflection to Action process to support the development of local plans at the community, county, and state levels. The process is divided into two phases, and the first phase involves undertaking a reflection exercise to support action planning.

The first step is bringing a group of people together who are empowered and excited to think through the process and get started on reflection. This includes working together to identify who should be engaged in the reflection and planning process. Ensuring you have the right people at the table is important to bring different perspectives and ideas together. 

Each community, county, and state is different and has unique features, such as diverse waterscapes and hazards. Taking time to look thoroughly at what your needs are, followed by exploring the available drowning data that can identify groups at risk and relevant trends, can again help keep the group focused on how to make the proper changes.

The USNWSAP continues on to break down 6 overall action recommendation areas. You can look specifically at each action recommendation as it relates to your community needs.

What can YOU do now?

The USNWSAP includes a variety of activities that you can do and central to this is working together to create change. As with the group working together to create and implement the action plan, you can’t do this alone. There are many different ways that you can help. You can get involved within your community to start the reflection-to-action process, help implement recommendations, and be a leader and champion for water safety.

Many different perspectives, experiences, and expertise are needed to make the changes as successful as they can be. Being a part of the decision-making and implementation of these changes will help your community be a safer place for all residents and visitors.

The overall theme throughout the plan is collaboration. Every person taking a small action leads to a bigger impact and can help lower the drowning rates. Use this plan to help you and your community stay safer in and around the water. 

Water Safety Champion of the Month Mayor Melvin Carter

In Minnesota, a state lovingly referred to as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” the importance of water safety cannot be understated. It is here that Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, with his relentless drive and passion, has emerged as a beacon of change for water safety initiatives with the understanding that water competency should be a right, not a privilege.

Water is inviting, yet it poses a danger when not approached with the necessary skills and caution. Rooted in personal experiences and fueled by the collective needs of his community, Mayor Carter’s initiatives and proposed programs aim to ensure that every child, regardless of socioeconomic background, gains access to essential swimming lessons.

We are proud to announce our September Water Safety Champion of The Month, Mayor Melvin Carter.

Growing Up Surrounded by Water

Growing up, Mayor Carter, along with his siblings and friends, would often be found diving and swimming for hours at their local community center. It wasn’t just about fun; it was about community and culture. But today, many kids miss formal swimming lessons, largely due to the prohibitive costs. “Our youth deserve every opportunity to be successful, which involves eliminating barriers to learning,” he states.

This gap in access underscores why water safety has become a crucial issue for local governments.

The Need for Local Governments to Prioritize Water Safety

Water safety is paramount. Mayor Carter is steadfast in his belief that the local government’s primary role is to ensure the safety and well-being of its residents. When a study from the National Institute of Health highlighted that access to swimming lessons could nearly eradicate the chances of youth drowning, it became clear that more had to be done. By making swimming lessons free, not only can the safety of children be ensured, but it also addresses the socioeconomic disparities prevalent in many communities.

Water Safety Champion of the Month Mayor Melvin Carter

Proposing Free Swim Lessons for Children

Taking inspiration from the success of a previous initiative that eliminated participation fees for youth sports, Mayor Carter is proposing a significant $250,000 investment from the American Rescue Plan to fund free swimming lessons in city-owned pools. This ambitious initiative aims to cater to 2,500 youth under the age of 10 and instill a strong foundation of water safety and competency.

Although this initiative is still in its proposal phase, Mayor Carter has a powerful vision. The existing infrastructure, with instructors recruited from local high schools and classes held at sought-after locations like the Como Park Regional Pool and Highland Park Aquatic Center, lays a promising groundwork for the initiative.

Once the plan gains more clarity, a robust outreach effort involving the Parks and Recreation Department and local partners will take the front seat.

Water Safety Champion of the Month Mayor Melvin Carter

Water Competency For All

Equity and inclusivity are at the heart of the proposed plan. “When we say all children ages 10 and younger, we mean all children,” declares Mayor Carter. The Aquatics teams are equipped to accommodate youth of all abilities, ensuring that everyone has access to these life-saving lessons.

The Path Ahead 

While Mayor Carter is excited about the existing projects like lifeguard recruitment and safety outreach, he believes the community has a pivotal role to play. By becoming lifeguards or vocally supporting policies that further water safety, they can significantly impact these initiatives.

For local government leaders elsewhere, Mayor Carter’s message is simple yet impactful: sometimes, the most straightforward solutions can be the most effective. By removing barriers, such as cost, and fostering partnerships with schools and organizations, a ripple effect can be created, making communities safer and more inclusive.

Thank You For Making A Difference In Water Safety!

Water Safety Champion of the Month, Mayor Melvin Carter, and his dedication to water safety, combined with a commitment to equity, makes him an exemplar for local governments everywhere. In his eyes, water safety isn’t just about preventing accidents; it’s about building communities where every child, regardless of their background, has an opportunity to thrive.

Thank you, your honor, for being a Water Safety Champion!

If you are making a difference in water safety and drowning prevention or know someone who has, we want to hear your story. 
Please take a moment to share the story on our website for a chance to be nationally recognized as a Water Safety Champion.

bath safety tips

Bathing a little one isn’t just about cleanliness; it’s a sweet routine filled with bubbles, toys, and cherished memories. However, even in the splashing and giggling lies a responsibility to ensure the safety of our little ones. ​​Every caregiver should prioritize the child’s safety during bath time, and with these bath safety tips, you can ensure that this daily routine remains both fun and secure.

1. Never Leave Them Unattended

Unlike what many might envision, drowning is often silent. Children can slip under the water without making a sound, especially if they are young and unfamiliar with the dangers of water. Within moments, they can be submerged.

Stay Present:
Always stay within arm’s reach of your child while they’re in the bath. Physical
proximity allows you to react swiftly should they slip or face any difficulty.

A ringing phone, a knock at the door, or a momentarily forgotten item can pull a parent or caregiver away for “just a second.” But a lot can happen in that brief time. The urgency of the moment may trick our minds into believing we’ll be quick, but any distraction that pulls attention away from a bathing child is a risk not worth taking.

Prepare Ahead:
Before starting the bath, gather all the necessary items—soap, shampoo, towels, toys—and place them within easy reach.

Many believe that a small amount of water isn’t enough to pose a risk. This misconception can lead to tragic accidents. Even an inch of water is sufficient for a child to drown, particularly if they are very young or unable to right themselves.

Avoid Over-reliance on Bath Seats or Rings:
While they can provide support, they’re not substitutes for supervision. Children can still tip over or get trapped by these devices. Stay close and minimize distractions!

2. Check Water Temperature

One of the subtle but significant challenges faced by parents and caregivers during bath time is ensuring the right water temperature. Babies and toddlers don’t just enjoy their baths; it’s a sensory experience that aids in their relaxation and sleep. But their tender skin can react adversely to water temperatures that might seem comfortable to an adult. With this in mind, keeping the water temperature at an adequate setting will help keep bath time fun and enjoyable for both child and caregiver.

The Sensitivity of Young Skin:
The epidermis (outer layer of the skin) of babies and toddlers is thinner than in adults. This means they can’t bear the same temperature ranges and are more prone to burns.

Using the Right Testing Method:
Dipping a toe might not give an accurate temperature reading. Instead, the inside of your wrist or elbow, which are more sensitive than other body parts, can offer a more reliable gauge. This method mimics the sensitivity of a child’s skin, giving caregivers a better understanding of how the child might feel.

Precision with Thermometers:
While the elbow test is a good starting point, for those who want to be doubly sure, investing in a water thermometer can be wise. It provides a precise reading, ensuring that the water is neither too hot nor too cold. A range of 37°C to 38°C (98.6°F to 100.4°F) is often recommended for the little ones.

Mix Before You Dip:
Always mix the water well to even out the temperature. Hot water tends to rise, with cold water at the bottom, so proper mixing will prevent areas of extreme temperatures that might harm your child.

Remember, their comfort and safety are in our hands, and with a bit of attention to detail and these bath safety tips, bath time can be a joy for both child and caregiver.

3. Use Non-slip Mats or Stickers

The bathtub’s smooth surface, combined with soapy water, can quickly become a slipping hazard. With slippery conditions, the danger of accidental falls becomes all too real. But, with some foresight, the right tools, and these bath safety tips, these dangers can be minimized. Here’s how you can enhance safety during bath time:

Invest in a Non-Slip Mat:
Placing a non-slip mat inside the tub is one of the most effective ways to increase traction. These mats come in various sizes and designs, often with suction cups on the bottom that secure them firmly to the tub’s surface. They provide a textured surface, reducing the likelihood of slipping, even in soapy conditions.

Adhesive Stickers Can Help Too:
If you’re looking for a less conspicuous option than a mat, consider non-slip stickers. These are often designed with fun shapes, like stars or animals, which can be attractive to children. They stick directly to the tub’s surface and offer added grip without covering the entire tub.

Think Outside the Tub:
While it’s essential to prevent slips inside the tub, don’t forget about the potential hazards just outside it. Wet feet on slick bathroom tiles can be just as dangerous. A non-slip mat placed directly outside the bathtub can absorb excess water and offer secure footing for both the child and the caregiver during the entry and exit processes.

Maintenance Matters:
Over time, non-slip mats and stickers can accumulate soap scum and mold, reducing their effectiveness. It’s crucial to clean them regularly and replace them if they begin to lose their grip or show signs of wear.

With the simple addition of non-slip mats or stickers and a regular maintenance routine, caregivers can significantly reduce the risks associated with slippery bathtubs, ensuring that each bath is as safe as it is fun.

bath safety tips

4. Store Bath Products Safely

The bathroom can be a magical place for children, from the gentle water to the bubbles that form on the surface and the array of interesting bottles lined up on the edges. However, this excitement can swiftly turn into a hazard if bath products fall into the wrong (tiny) hands.

The Temptation of Colors and Shapes:
Bath products, with their vibrant colors, unique shapes, and sometimes even fun packaging, are immensely attractive to children. These bottles can easily be mistaken for toys or, worse, something edible.

Safety First Approach:
Storing these items on higher shelves or in closed cabinets ensures that they’re out of reach of children. If your bathroom doesn’t have higher storage, consider investing in wall-mounted units or over-the-door organizers.

Stay Prepared:
Despite all precautions, accidents can happen. Keep emergency numbers handy, be aware of the nearest medical facilities, and know the basic first-aid steps for ingestion or eye contact with bath products.

By implementing these bath safety tips, you can ensure that the time spent in the tub is filled with joy and free from risks. Remember, vigilance and preparation are the pillars of keeping your little ones safe during bath time.

Happy splashing!

As the warm days of summer come to an end, it’s essential to properly winterize your pool for the season. Knowing how to winterize your pool ensures that it remains in optimal condition and ready to be reopened for the next swimming season! When properly done, winterizing your pool can help keep your pool safety ready for winter. Knowing how to winterize your pool will look different depending on what type of pool you have, but here are some general guidelines and tips!

Clean and Balance Your Water Chemistry before Winterizing Your Pool

Maintaining proper water balance is a crucial step in helping to prevent corrosion, scale buildup, and the growth of algae during the winter months. To get ready for this, be sure to clean up and remove any debris in your pool. This will make it easier to balance your water chemistry.

Begin by testing your pool water for the pH, Chlorine, Alkalinity, and calcium hardness levels. The ideal pH level is between 7.4 and 7.6. This helps prevent corrosion and having a balanced Alkalinity helps to prevent fluctuations in your pH.

Your Alkalinity should range between 200-250, and be sure you have your calcium hardness levels between 150 to 250 ppm. This will also help protect your pool surfaces from deterioration. You can find information on some of Lesley’s Pool Supplies for winterizing an inground pool.

Shock and Chlorinate

Part of winterizing your pool involves shocking it with chlorine. This helps to eliminate contaminants and prevent algae growth. You can use the same shock you use during the regular pool season and double that amount for winterizing your pool. After this, you can use an algaecide. Follow the instructions listed on the product you are using.

This will also help with preventing algae from growing throughout the winter. Be sure to keep these chemicals in a secure location where others and children do not have access.

Lower the Water Level

Dropping the water level in your pool is important for winterizing your pool. Thinking ahead for the cold weather, when water freezes, it expands. This may happen to your pool and it could cause some damage to your pool and plumbing system. 

When water freezes, it expands. Take into account what type of plumbing system you have. You may need to clear all of your lines to prevent damage. If you have a flooded system that sits below the ground level of your pool, you most likely have this system.

Check with your local area’s pool maintenance and chemical company to see what all you need to do to prepare your pool for winter.

Clean and Store Equipment for Winter

Cleaning and storing your pool equipment properly before winterizing is essential for prolonging the life of your equipment. This also helps you with a smooth transition for the summer season. Cleaning your equipment includes backwashing your pool and cleaning the pool filter or filters to remove any debris and contaminants. 

Remove and clean all pool accessories such as ladders, baskets, and skimmer lids. Thoroughly clean and dry these items before storing them in a dry, cool place for the winter. Keep these items in a place where others including children cannot access them.

Pay special attention to your pumps, heaters, or other equipment that might be vulnerable to freezing temperatures. You can check your manuals for your pump systems and installation paperwork for the proper process for your pool and equipment. 

Install a Winter Pool Cover

A high-quality pool cover serves as the final barrier to protect your pool during the winter months. There are various types of covers available such as mesh, solid vinyl covers, and automatic covers. When choosing the best cover for your pool, keep safety in mind.

A pool cover adds a layer of protection to keep your pool safer. Keep a cover patch kit on hand in case you need it. Whichever type of cover you choose, be sure it fits properly for your pool. Anchor it properly to prevent wind from getting underneath it. 

You may want to use an air pillow or pool pillow that can help support the pool cover’s center. This pillow helps prevent water from accumulating on the cover and causing damage. Gently inflate this pillow and secure it in the center of the pool before covering your pool with the winter cover. 

Continue Regular Maintenance Checks

Even during the winter months, it is important to conduct periodic maintenance checks on your pool. Remove any debris that has accumulated on the cover and check the pool’s water level to ensure it remains in a safe range.

Checking on your pool fence is important too. A fence around your pool adds another layer of protection to help keep your pool safer for everyone. Find more information on the 5 layers of protection at https://ndpa.org/layers/. Completing a visual inspection over all of your equipment helps to make sure you will be ready for a smooth reopening next time! 

Winterizing your pool is a comprehensive process that involves multiple steps. Taking the time to properly winterize your pool with balancing your water chemistry, shock treatment, equipment maintenance, proper cover installation, and continued maintenance checks helps keep your pool in excellent condition.

Keeping your pool and your family safe happens year-round. Following these steps can help you confidently winterize your pool and help to protect your investment in your pool. 

When we send our children to school or summer camp, we rest assured that they will be kept safe from potential harm. After all, our educational institutions diligently teach our little ones about fire safety, regularly conduct lockdown drills, and have protocols for various emergencies. But there’s a glaring gap in this protective shield: water safety, which remains the number one killer of children ages 1-4.

Our latest Water Safety Champion, Kori Delapeña, is a fierce advocate for water safety education in childcare facilities. After tragedy struck her home, rather than being consumed by grief, she channeled her pain into purpose, embarking on a mission to ensure no other parent would have to endure such a loss.

While many safety measures have been embedded into our schooling systems, the silence around water safety is deafening. But with a Water Safety Champion of the month like Kori leading the charge, there’s hope that this oversight will soon be a thing of the past.

A Moment That Defined A Lifetime

Kori’s world was shattered when her six-year-old daughter, Cati,  tragically drowned under the care of a summer camp. Cati had been born with Down syndrome, and so, her parents took many precautions, including those around water. 

Aware of the challenges posed by their daughter’s diagnosis, they prioritized physical and occupational therapies needed for daily functions over swimming. Kori acknowledged that while they maintained general water safety norms, such as ensuring life jackets at the beach or pools, the intricacies of water safety were something they were largely unaware of. Kori lamented that vital water safety information was conspicuously absent from pediatricians and daycare providers, stating, “I wish somebody would have put fear in me.”

With Cati’s unique needs in mind, Kori extensively researched summer camps to ensure her daughter’s safety. After finding High Hopes camp, which had high marking reviews, she communicated Cati’s challenges and was reassured about her safety at the pool. The camp’s reassurances, however, proved hollow, and tragedy struck.

Kori’s story highlights a gap in our system. It begs for more substantial water safety measures for children attending pool activities under the care of a licensed childcare organization such as camps or schools. She also recommends parents always conduct thorough checks of any institution’s licensing and history through the state’s licensing websites as a proactive measure for protecting their child’s wellbeing.

Live Like Cati

In the face of unimaginable loss, Kori and her husband, John, founded Live Like Cati. Armed with grief and passion, the two set out to ensure that no parent in the state of Texas ever suffers loss as they did.

Live Like Cati has spearheaded efforts to teach water safety across Texas summer camps, provide life jackets for free, and train camp staff comprehensively. A whopping 1800 hours of training and over 1600 life jackets delivered attests to their dedication and desire to see safety at the forefront.

Educate, Advocate, Legislate

With a glaring void in water safety training within childcare facilities, Kori was propelled into the legislative arena, realizing the weight of her mission after a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigator named Angel advised her on this course. She discovered that drowning is the number one cause of death for children under 5 in the nation, and yet there was absolutely no training or language about drowning prevention in the child administration code. She found this alarming as childcare ratios are high, and when it involves water activities, the risk factor heightens. 

They’ve collaborated with the likes of Colin’s Hope and the Health and Human Services Department, and come September 1st, Texas will see the introduction of HB59– Cati’s Law. The law mandates childcare organizations to verify swimming capabilities and ensure non-swimmers wear USCG life jackets before entering the gates of a pool.

“It wasn’t just about Cati. It was about every child and parent,” 

Kori reflects, underscoring her drive to protect all children. Through legislative efforts, Kori hopes to establish systems that will incentivize childcare providers to prioritize water safety. Research supports her approach, showing that financial penalties or legal consequences can drive behavioral change.

Thank You For Making A Difference In Water Safety!

Kori’s journey from grieving mother to Water Safety Champion is a testament to her resilience and determination. Partnering with many drowning prevention organizations and getting the backing of Texas legislators, she’s been able to bring about tangible changes that will protect children and ease the minds of parents and caregivers. 

Her advocacy serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of water safety education and the critical role each one of us plays in preventing such tragedies through legislation.

Thank you for being a Water Safety Champion!

If you are making a difference in water safety and drowning prevention or know someone who has, we want to hear your story. 

Please take a moment to share the story on our website for a chance to be nationally recognized as a Water Safety Champion.