Water safety for children

Water safety tips bear repeating to help keep children protected at all times.

While the first day of summer is slated for June 20, it feels as if summer has already begun. Many children are already out of school, and fun in the sun is underway.

As summertime memories begin to take shape, it’s time for moms and dads around the nation to unite in their water safety efforts. Families need to stay vigilant while the kids are enjoying their pool time.

Water safety tips bear repeating to help keep children protected at all times.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission 2014 Pool and Spa Submersion Report, 76 percent of submersion fatalities reported involved children five and younger. Even more sobering, 85 percent of these occurrences happened in private residences.

PoolSafely.gov also reports: “Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4.”

With this in mind during summertime pool parties, it’s essential to appoint an adult to be a “Water Watcher.” This designated adult monitors children swimming and playing in the pool and/or spa. A designated Water Watcher should also avoid distractions and keep a keen eye on water activities at all times.  It’s also advised that this designated individual have access to a phone in the event of an emergency.

Water Watchers should also be educated on the signs of drowning. Most children or adults in distress do not wave their arms. Instead, they are in an upright, bobbing position with their heads possibly titled backwards.

Other pool safety tips include:

  • Never leave children unattended
  • Keep toys out of the pool when not in use
  • Pools and spa drains should be installed with anti-entrapment covers
  • Fences around pools should be at least 60 inches high
  • Gates to fences should be self-closing and self-latching
  • Latches should be at least 54 inches high from the ground
  • Gates should be designed to open outward
  • Keep any life-saving devices, such as poles and flotation devices, nearby
  • Install exit alarms to residential doors adjacent to the pool area 

Summertime is a great time of year. Staying diligent with water safety should remain at the top of every parent’s list. For more pool safety information please visit www.poolsafely.gov.