Create a safer environment for summer swimming fun
(BPT) – Swimming is a popular summer activity and if you have a pool or spa, your backyard just may be this summer’s most popular retreat for friends, neighbors and all of the children that come with them. Adding as many water safety steps as possible is the best way to assure a safer and fun experience this summer.
Drowning accidents tend to happen very, very quickly. The CDC reports that in most cases, the children involved were out of their parents’ sight for less than five minutes. The good news: drowning can be prevented. Barriers help buy those few minutes needed to re-establish direct contact when it has been briefly lost. It’s vital to have layers of protection in place between your home and pool to buy the time to re-establish contact after a momentary distraction, such as answering the phone or door, texting, or other routine activities.
Numerous studies have shown that an isolation fence that separates the home from the pool can help prevent 50 to 90 percent of all toddler drownings. Only an isolation fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate in proper working order will prevent children from getting into the water without your knowledge. For above-ground pools, a fence and gate surrounding the steps or ladder can prevent toddler access.
“D&D’s MagnaLatch is the number-one selling child and pool safety gate latch in the world,” says D&D Technologies’ Jim Paterson, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Created for swimming pool gates, MagnaLatch is designed to extend above the height of the fence to keep the release knob out of reach of children. With its patented magnetic latching, it won’t jam, is self-latching and vertically and horizontally adjustable.” Millions have been installed to help keep children safe around residential pools, public pools, and wherever safety fencing is needed.
Pool gates should be inspected frequently and adjusted for latch alignment and hinge tension; to make sure they self-close and self-latch every time. With D&D’s TruClose hinges, the homeowner can easily adjust the self-closing tension after installation with a screwdriver.
Parents can get their children involved in pool safety education and help them become a Safer Kid, through the Safer 3 program developed by the Safer3 Water Safety Foundation. The Safer 3 is a comprehensive initiative to dramatically reduce drowning incidences and create safer water — including fencing and other safety devices such as alarms around the pool; Safer Kids, including adult supervision and swim skill attainment; and Safer Response — meaning adults should know CPR and rescue breathing. Parents can promote water safety with their children by downloading free coloring books, story books and activity sheets for their children at http://www.swimforlife.org.
Here are some additional tips to stay pool safe this summer:
- Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment.
- If a child is missing, look for them first in the pool or spa.
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
- The National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) recommends that a “water watcher” be designated for safety when children are in the pool, to maintain eye-to-eye contact at all times.
- Toys or floating chlorine dispensers that look like toys should never be left in the pool area.
- Be aware of anything a child could use to climb up on and over a pool fence.
- Keep rescue equipment, like a shepherds hook, near the pool.
- If your child is invited to a friend’s pool don’t expect the other parent to be as cautious as you may be. Offer to go with them to be another set of eyes on the pool.
- Brush up on your own swimming skills. You never know when you may have to rescue someone who is drowning, so make sure you know the proper way to help without harming yourself.
- Learn CPR. You can be the one to administer CPR to someone in need while waiting on an ambulance to arrive. You can sign up for CPR classes at The Red Cross or your local YMCA. It’s a lifesaving skill you’ll be glad to have.
“With isolation fencing and the Safer 3 in place, your family can look forward to years of safer relaxation and enjoyment of your pool,” Paterson says.
For safety gate products visit www.ddtechglobal.com and to learn more about pool safety visit www.ndpa.org. Gate hardware by D&D Technologies is available through fencing contractors and many hardware retail stores, including Lowe’s and Home Depot.
Essential Swim Safety tips
(BPT) – As families start heading to local pools, lakes and beaches for warm weather fun, the staggering statistics around drowning risks take on renewed importance. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for infants and young kids between the ages of one and 14 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s also the fifth leading cause for Americans of all ages.
Alicia Kockler, a swim safety expert and director of swim programming at Life Time – The Healthy Way of Life Company, provides the following tips to ensure fun, safe swimming experiences this summer and beyond.
Invest in swim lessons. The safety of your kids – and yourself – is vital. Investing in swim lessons is the best way to ensure confidence and skill in the water. Starting kids young often leads to more success in the water but most programs, including Life Time Swim, offer lessons through adulthood for all swimming abilities.
Maintain visual contact. A lifeguard is no substitute for maintaining visual contact and close proximity to your kids at all times. Never turn your back on a child when he or she is in the water, not even for a moment. Don’t mistake water wings, flotation devices, life jackets or lifeguards for absolute safety.
Follow a 25:10 rule. Life Time operates by a 25:10 rule and suggests parents use it as a safety measure in all bodies of water. The 25:10 rule proposes that if a child cannot swim 25 meters continuously without assistance, an adult must be within 10 feet at all times.
Limit the non-swimmer to swimmer ratio to less than 3:1. Limiting the amount of non-swimmers to swimmers will directly impact your ability to better supervise each non-swimmer.
Get CPR certified. Take a class and learn how to perform CPR in case an emergency does occur.
Teach safety basics. Keep children safe by teaching water safety basics such as: always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket, no running by the pool, no going into the water without an adult nearby and reach for a pole or line that has been thrown out if you’re struggling in the water. Strollers and car seats should be kept at least four feet from any body of water.
Take breaks at least every two hours. There’s a reason public pools have safety breaks. Rest, rehydrate and reapply sunscreen before returning to the water for more fun.
Designate a meeting spot. Use a brightly colored towel to designate a meeting spot and establish regular times to check-in.
Kockler also suggests taking showers with soap before and after entering any body of water, always washing hands after restroom use and making sure children under the age of 3 always wear a snug fitting plastic pant over their swim diaper to prevent contamination.