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home water safety tips blog cover

Home pools and spas are, of course, drowning hazards which is why implementing layers of protection is so important.

Bearing in mind that drowning can happen in even a very little amount of water, think of all the other objects in your home that are full or potentially full of water: toilet bowls, unemptied tubs, sinks, bird baths, pet dishes… Babies and toddlers are naturally curious so having all these hazards in mind becomes increasingly important.

The following tips are meant to make your home safer:

Active Adult Supervision at All Times

  1. Your child must never be unattended when around water. Bear in mind that babies can drown in as little as one inch of water.
  2. When watching kids when they are in or around water, avoid any and all distractions. Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult (touch supervision).

Empty Tubs and Buckets After Use

  1. Immediately drain the tub once bath time is over.
  2. Empty buckets, containers and kiddie pools as soon as they are no longer in use and store them upside down. This is so they don’t collect water.

Keep Lids and Doors Closed

  1. Close toilet lids and consider using toilet seat locks to prevent drowning.
  2. Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed at all times.

Backyard Pools

  1. Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted. Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult. Make sure older children swim with a partner every time.
  2. When children are swimming and there are several adults present, make sure kids are actively supervised at all times by choosing a Water Watcher. A Water Watcher is a responsible adult who agrees to watch the kids in the water without distractions and wear a Water Watcher card. After a certain amount of time (such as 15-minutes), the Water Watcher card is passed to another adult, who is responsible for the active supervision. Download a Water Watcher card here.
  3. Install fences around home pools. A pool fence should surround all sides of the pool and be at least four feet tall with self-closing and self-latching gates.
  4. Teach children how to swim. Every child is different, so enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready. Consider their age, development and how often they are around water.
  5. Make sure kids learn how to swim and develop these five water survival skills:
  • step or jump into water over their heads and return to the surface;
  • float or tread water for one minute; 
  • turn around in a full circle and find an exit
  • swim 25 yards to exit the water; and
  • exit the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder.

Learn CPR

  1. Know what to do in an emergency. Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save a child’s life.

Source: Safe Kids Worldwide

The holidays are a time of lots of fun and activity in the average household. It is a time when most people are out of their normal, daily routine hosting family gatherings and celebrating with friends and neighbors. With all the hustle and bustle, accidents are more prone to happen which is why homeowners must make additional efforts to keep family members, guests and pets as safe as possible.

Bear in mind that ages and stages make a huge difference in home and water safety so be sure to take them into consideration when prepping your home for the December festivities because the littlest of details can make a huge difference.

The NDPA recently hosted an online webinar where our guest speakers shared a bevy of safety tips that can be easily applied during the holiday season. Here are a few basic precautions to ensure you and yours remain injury-free throughout the season.

  • Make a quick list of local emergency numbers to keep on hand and make copies for friends and family visiting. 
  • When cooking, set timers and always be attentive of what is on the stove to avoid fires.
  • Child safety should be delegated to someone who can actively supervise them without distractions. Hosts need to learn to “pass the baton” and make sure there is always someone watching the kids.
  • Walk your guests through your home and property and point out the layers of protection that are in place explaining what to be on the lookout for to make sure everyone is safe.
  • If you have open water areas on your property, set the rules as to where kids can go without an adult and be sure everyone is ware of them.
  • Designated watchers can play games to keep kids busy and occupied. Find fun ways to distract them so they don’t go our and seek entertainment on their own.
  • Use LED lights when decorating your home. They don’t get as hot as regular ones which means your tree won’t dry out so quickly and become a bigger fire hazard.
  • Make sure your tree is watered everyday to prevent early dryness.
  • Watch candle placements in your home and be sure they are far from curtains and not within reach of kids and pets. Be aware that they don’t burn down too low and crack the glass that encases them or that they burn the surface on which that are placed.
  • Put together a family newsletter in advance and send out before house-guests arrive. Go over it together and make sure the inherent safety message is well received.
  • A newsletter is also a great way to give family members information that can be shared with others such as emergency numbers, the exact address where they are staying and any emergency plan that you may have in place.
  • Make an action plan to get through an emergency that details who you are going to call and where you are going to go.
  • If the worst situation happens, be ready by knowing exactly where you are and where the nearest hospital  is. Try to stay calm during the emergency, call 911 and listen attentively to any instructions the operator might give you.
  • Learn CPR and make sure other family members and guests have this life-saving skill as well.

What safety measures do you have in place at home to prevent accidents during the holidays?