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
- Your child must never be unattended when around water. Bear in mind that babies can drown in as little as one inch of water.
- 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
- Immediately drain the tub once bath time is over.
- 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
- Close toilet lids and consider using toilet seat locks to prevent drowning.
- Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed at all times.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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