Water safety isn’t just for summer! Drowning incidents are preventable. The Consumer Product and Safety Commission has teamed with the Pool Safety Campaign to change the way families think and act about pool and spa safety. Here are their top winter water safety tips:
1. Constant Eyes On (CEO) Supervision – Never turn your back on your child around water. It takes just seconds for him/her to be in serious trouble. Segment the supervision responsibilities so there are never questions about which adult is responsible for watching the child and be aware of the distractions unique to the winter months: holiday parties, house guests, etc.
2. Educate Others – When traveling to relatives’ and friends’ homes they may not understand the importance of keeping gates closed, doors locked, closing toilet seats, emptying buckets, etc. Visiting family, holiday parties and celebrations can lead to breakdowns in routine supervision and effective barriers to the water. If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.
3. Decoration Hazards – Decorations and lights can pose problems with young children around the house and water. Watch for lights and electrical cords around water, make sure no outside decorations provide a means for a child to climb over a fence or open a locked gate.
4. Maintain Pools in the Winter – Keep pools well-maintained with clear water even if it is too cold to swim. If someone falls in, they can be seen and be helped faster. Pool covers need to be drained of accumulated rain water and free of debris. Ensure any pool and spa you use has compliant drain covers, and ask your pool service provider if you do not know.
5. Hot Tubs – Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa. Supervision must be one adult per child due to the high temperatures and turbulence of the water in a hot tub. When young children are in the hot tub, keep the temperature below 90 degrees Fahrenheit and limit exposure to less than ten minutes.
6. Fencing – Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
7. Survival Swimming Lessons- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states, “lessons may actually reduce the risk in drowning for children ages 1-4 years old.” Infant Swimming Resource goes beyond traditional swimming instruction, by teaching children aquatic survival skills designed to help them survive should they reach the water alone.
About the CPSC’s Pool Safely Campaign
The Pool Safely campaign (www.poolsafely.gov) is a key part of the CPSC’s efforts to carry out the requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act), federal legislation mandating new requirements for pool and spa safety. The Act includes a requirement for a national public education campaign designed to raise public awareness, support industry compliance and improve safety at pools and spas. The Pool Safely campaign delivers an important and simple message: adding extra safety steps in and around the water can make all the difference. Your greatest water safety assurance comes from adopting and practicing as many water safety measures as possible, including: installing barriers that completely surround the pool with self-closing, self- latching gates; staying close, being alert and watching children at the pool; learning and practicing water safety skills (knowing how to swim and perform CPR), and having the appropriate safety equipment (compliant drain covers, alarms, barriers and sensors).
Pool Safely provides campaign tools and resources to various outreach channels. CPSC has taken the lead by partnering with national, regional and local organizations in the children’s safety and drowning prevention communities. By engaging key partners, the campaign is reaching the widest possible audience and building a national network to ensure the sustainability and success of the campaign.
About Infant Swimming Resource
Infant Swimming Resource (ISR), with it’s Self-Rescue program, is nationally recognized as the safest provider of survival swimming lessons for infants and young children. With a primary focus on safety and effectiveness, and as the world’s leading behavioral science based instruction program, ISR is the only choice for parents who are dedicated to their child’s safety, education and developmental needs. ISR’s worldwide network of highly qualified, certified Instructors has successfully delivered over 7 million safe lessons to infants and young children, which have resulted in our record of nearly 800 documented cases of a children utilizing ISR’s survival techniques to save their own lives. For more information on ISR, water and swim safety or to find an instructor in your area, please visit www.infantswim.com.