Summer is all about spending time with family and friends, enjoying delicious food and drinks, and cooling off in the water.
And while water activities provide us with countless hours of refreshment and entertainment, they can also pose a serious threat to adults, children, and babies.
- Even a few inches of water can pose a serious danger to children and babies, so use extreme caution when youngsters are near even small bodies of water.
- Surround your pool with a fence that is 4-feet high and has a self-closing, self-latching gate. Place a safety cover on your pool/hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access.
- Install a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.
- Supervise children at all times. Stay in arm’s reach of young kids. Designate a responsible person to watch the water when people are in the pool.
- Never allow anyone to swim alone–even if they are a good swimmer. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- Enroll children in swimming lessons.
- Keep your pool/hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes, or more serious diseases.
- Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors in the pool area.
- Enroll adults and older teens in first aid and CPR classes.
- Use caution with portable pools and baby pools–young children and babies can and do drown in them.
- Keep children away from pool drains to avoid entrapment. Use approved drain covers.
- Keep your cell phone with you by the pool for emergencies, but don’t be distracted while children are in or near the water.
- If a child is missing, check the pool first.
- Adults and children alike should wear coast-guard approved life jackets when boating.
Besides these basic water safety guidelines, it’s also important to stay hydrated on hot Summer days and protected from the heat and sun. Read Staying Hydrated and Healthy from the American Heart Association and Sun Protection from the Skin Cancer Foundation.