Keep safe around water this summer with the following safety tips:
- Learn to swim.
- Remember that even if you did learn to swim, no one is drown-proof.
- Never swim alone.
- Always watch children closely, even if a lifeguard is present. Remember that a child can drown in the time it takes to answer the phone.
- Alcohol and swimming don’t mix.
- Do not dive into unfamiliar waters. Go feet first until you know how deep the water is.
- Stay out of the water during severe weather and thunderstorms, especially if there’s a possibility of lightning.
- Don’t rely on flotation devices, such as rafts, to keep you afloat in deep water.
- Follow regulations of the facility and obey the lifeguards.
- Wear sunscreen and reapply it often throughout the day, even if the sunscreen is waterproof.
- Drink lots of water to avoid heat exhaustion.
- Teach children that pool drains, grates, and filters are not toys and that they should never stick their fingers or toes in these openings or suction devices.
- Always remove toys from the pool area when not in use. These can entice children to the pool when there is no one to watch them.
- Keep spas and hot tubs covered and locked when not in use.
- Keep rescue equipment by the pool. Be sure a telephone with emergency numbers is easily accessible in the pool area.
- Learn lifesaving techniques, including CPR and first aid.
Install barriers, such as fences or gates, around the pool area and be sure that they’re locked securely when the pool is not in use, with the latch out of the reach of children. Fences should be at least 5 feet high and chain links should be no larger than 1 3/4 inches. If the fence has vertical slats instead of chain links, make sure that the bars are less than 4 inches apart to prevent a child from squeezing through. Pool fencing should have self-locking, self-closing gates.
For More Information:
Home Safety Council, http://www.homesafetycouncil.org</a>
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/359.pdf</a>