Florida is surrounded by water from the top border of Georgia to the tip of Key West. Not only do we have oceans on each side of us, but various lakes, canals, water parks and swimming pools within our state. Every child should know how to swim or be attended at all times when near water.
How many times have you heard a story of a child drowning and the person says they just stepped away from the pool for a couple minutes? What a tragedy that can be and must be avoided.
Here are some tips to follow:
Watch the child or children that are swimming actively no matter what size pool or waterways such as the ocean, canals or lakes.
If you are with a friend or a group of people it is easy to get distracted with a phone call or conversation. Pick one or two people to be in charge of the kids. It only takes a couple of minutes for a child to drown and in less water then you would think. If your child is not supervised, you may not hear them slip into a pool and they can lose consciousness in less then 2 minutes.
Child proof your pool area – In Florida its the law.
Keep access to your pool area restricted at all times if you have a small child. Put a childproof lock on the door/doors leading out to the pool area or a fenced in area around the pool. A slide over lock at the top of the door that they cannot reach.
If you have a pool with a fence around it, have self closing gates and a lock for those gates. I know of a hotel that added a fence around their pool with the lever to open the gates way at the top and out of reach of little hands.
Pool Alarm- In case a child falls in, you are alerted – See this article from Pooladvisers.
Pool Covers – When choosing a pool cover make sure it is professionally fitted to your pool. A flimsy cover is worse then no cover at all. If a child falls in they can get trapped or be harder to get out of the water.
Swimming lessons – According to the American Academy of Pediatrics “Parents should consider swimming lessons for most children between ages 1 and 4,” This does not mean that you should not supervise your children, or not child proof your pool. This is an important measure to prevent drowning as are the others, even children with advanced swimming skills can still drown.
The American Red Cross offers classes for swimming just enter your zipcode to see what is available for your area. .
The YMCA also offers swimming lessons and water safety – Go Here for that information and scroll to the bottom of the ariticle to enter your zipcode for a YMCA near you.
CPR – is crucial to attempting to save a life of a drowning victim. Contact the American Heart Association for a class near you.
Water wings and inflatable water gear – While these are fun for kids and helps keep them afloat, they are not dependable because they can easily lose air. Check out the recommendations for the best waster safety products from Safety.com
If you are in a situation where a child has drowned and stopped breathing, call 911. You only have a very small amount of time for resuscitation and again CPR is crucial at this time.
For more information on preventing drowning please visit – Waterprooffl.com