don’t ever assume someone else is watching your children. always supervise or dedicate one water watcher who will focus solely on watching, even with a lifeguard present. stay alert during social gatherings when there are distractions. keep a phone nearby in case of emergencies, and check the pool first if a child goes missing.
teach children how to swim
swimming is not only fun, it’s a lifesaving skill. enroll your children in swimming lessons, which can be found through the American Red Cross, your local YMCA or community pools. infant swimming resource programs can begin with children as young as 6 months old.
know how to perform CPR on children and adults
often, bystanders are the first to aid a drowning victim, so learning CPR can help save a life. once you’re CPR certified, make sure to keep your certification current! sign up for a course through Thrive Training Institute or find local CPR classes through the American Red Cross, many hospitals and community centers.
teach children to stay away from drains
avoid drains and suction outlets when playing or swimming, especially in shallow pools and spas. never enter a pool or spa with a loose, broken or missing drain cover, as it can trap hair, limbs or clothing. locate the emergency vacuum shutoff before using a spa.
install proper barriers, covers and alarms on and around your pool
proper fences, barriers, alarms and covers can be lifesaving. don’t assume your space is safe because you have a gate. look out for other children and adults who enter through the gate to make sure it’s closed. the fence should be at least four-feet-high around the pool so it’s not climbable and only accessible through a self-closing, self-latching gate. teach children not to climb over the gate or fence and ensure the pool area has a door alarm from the house and a functioning cover.
resources: American Red Cross, CDC and PoolSafely.gov