This time of year most of us in the Dallas-Fort Worth area love to beat the heat in some nice, refreshing water. When doing so, it’s important to understand the risk involved. Whether it’s a pool, lake, or bathtub, water can create a drowning risk. Follow these tips to make sure your family and friends stay safe around water this summer and throughout the year:
- Supervise children constantly – Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water, so leaving a young child unattended for even a minute or two can be dangerous. Always stay within arm’s reach of a young child, and keep yourself from becoming distracted by other adults, food, or your phone. If there are multiple adults in the area take turns being the designated “water watcher” for fifteen minutes at a time. That way, the kids stay safe and no adult has to miss out on the party for very long.
- Eliminate temporary hazards – Empty bathtubs, kiddie pools, and buckets of water as soon as they are no longer needed to prevent accidents.
- Secure permanent hazards – Install a fence or barrier all the way around your pool or hot tub that is at least four feet tall and has a self-closing, self-latching gate. Purchase an appropriate safety cover for your pool or hot tub so that you can cover it when it’s not being used. Close toilet seats and secure them with childproof locks. Keep the doors to your bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.
- Keep water clean – Keep pool and hot tub water clear and balanced. Maintain proper circulation and filtration, and test chemical levels regularly and adjust them as needed. Water that is dirty or unbalanced can lead to ear aches, rashes, and potentially serious diseases. Wash your sinks and bathtubs regularly to keep them free of mold and other grime.
- Teach your family to swim – Everyone who lives in a home with a pool or hot tub should learn how to swim as soon as they are old enough. Check with your local YMCA, USA Swimming chapter, or Parks and Recreation Department for information about swimming lessons for all ages. Enroll adults and older children in CPR classes, so that you are prepared for the worst case scenario. Know the important differences between performing CPR on adults and on children.
- Set rules and enforce them – Teach children to respect water and the danger it poses without being afraid of it. Teach children to walk near pools and hot tubs, to always swim with a buddy, and never to dive into a pool with a depth of less than ten feet. Help children locate multiple exits from a swimming pool. Always review your household water safety rules with all children and even visiting adults before the fun begins.
Almost everyone enjoys a good dip during the summer months, and it’ll be a lot more enjoyable with the added peace of mind of knowing your family is ! We wish you a great summer swimming season!