Don’t assume you will hear a child who is in trouble in the water. Child drowning is a silent death, with no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble. Here are some useful tips from the Safer 3 program developed by the Swim for Life Foundation:
Isolate the pool from the house and yard area by surrounding it with a four sided fence and self-closing and self-latching gate.
Install door & pool alarms and pool/spa covers. Several barriers provide backup in case one fails.
Prevent children’s unsupervised access to any body of water, including bathtubs, buckets, coolers, toilets and natural water such as lakes and canals.
Designate a “water watcher” to ensure constant, attentive adult supervision during water recreation and at bath time.
Teach children water safety and swimming skills. Parents and child caregivers should also know how to swim proficiently.
Check the pool area or other water features first if a child is missing.
Know CPR with rescue breathing and first-aid.
Keep a phone and rescue equipment such as throwing aids near the pool.
Develop an emergency action plan and make sure everyone knows it.
Over time, Swim for Life Foundation believes the Safer 3 will dramatically lower accidental drowning, possibly even eliminating unnecessary deaths altogether. With your help, we can realize that goal sooner rather than later.
Video from the National Drowning Prevention Alliance – Safer 3