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May 2017 – Safety Article – Summer Water Safety

National Water Safety Month May 2017

As we head into the month of May, most people’s thoughts turn to warm weather, summer and water. Water safety can sometimes be an afterthought, but every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children ages 14 and younger.

 

The Red Cross advises that the best thing you can do to help your children stay safe is to:

     Enroll in age-appropriate swim lessons.

 

Buddy System

  • Always swim with a partner.
  • Even with a lifeguard present – always have a buddy.

 

Education

  • Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible.
  • Enter children in age-appropriate swim lessons.
  • Set and enforce ability-appropriate water safety rules for your children and family.
  • Know (and teach your kids) what to do during an emergency. Take a CPR course.

 

Supervision

  • Never leave a young child unattended near water.
  • Actively supervise children whenever around water – even if lifeguards are present.
  • Always stay within an arm’s reach of young children when around water.
  • Do not trust a child’s life to another child.
  • Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
  • Never allow a child in water without an adult.
  • Take caution around natural bodies of water even when you are not planning on swimming.
  • Do not allow children to play with suction or drains in pool.
  • During a group gathering or party at a pool assign a designated person to monitor children in the water.

 

Life Jackets

  • Young children and unexperienced swimmers should always wear a US Coast Guard approved life jacket around water.
  • Always wear a life jacket when boating.
  • Always supervise children even when wearing a lifejacket.

 

Safe Swim Areas

  • Swim in areas with a lifeguard present.
  • Take care when swimming in an open body of water such as a lake, river or ocean.
  • Currents, rip tides and debris can be unpredictable and sudden.

 

At Home

  • Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub that prevent direct access from the house and yard.
  • These barriers should be four-sided isolation fencing, at least 5 feet high. The gates

should be self-closing and self-latching.

  • Ensure that furniture, trees, playground equipment, etc, do not assist in children to climbing over fences to pool area.
  • Empty all buckets, tubs, and kiddie pools immediately after use and store upside down.
  • For above ground pools: remove ladders and secure safety cover when not using.

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