It’s Almost Pool Time! Water Safety Reminders for Families
After a long winter season of rain and cloudy skies, Austinites are ready for spring and warm weather. Before you know it we’ll be jumping into pools and enjoying all of the fun lakes and springs Austin has to offer. With that comes a refresher on water safety for parents and caregivers of children.
- Home pools are the most common sites for drowning in children ages 1-4. Four-sided fencing, at least four feet high, should be installed to completely separate the pool from your house. In addition, there should be an alarm set to notify you if a door to the pool is opened. Child-proof locks are essential, as curious children are persistent and will try to find ways to get to the pool. Put pool toys away so they are less tempted to find a way out to the pool from inside.
- Formal swimming lessons may help for children ages 1 and older. New research suggests that children ages 1-4 may have a reduced risk of drowning after swimming lessons. However, this doesn’t replace vigilant monitoring at all time. Start lessons before swim season at an indoor pool if possible.
- Close supervision around the pool. Even with floaties, caretakers should be within an arm’s length of young children at all times during pool time. The parent in charge of watching a child should not be on their phone, reading, or engrossed in conversation. In addition, alcohol should not be consumed while monitoring your child.
- Learn CPR. As with all emergencies, seconds count. CPR can save the life of a drowning victim. The Red Cross provides a list of local classes for CPR. https://www.redcross.org/local/texas/take-a-class/cpr-austin-tx
- Remind children never to swim alone. This applies to “even for a minute while my parent goes to get a towel”. Adult supervision is a must.
- Childen should wear life jackets when boating and in open water.
For more information on water safety, go to https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Water-Safety-And-Young-Children.aspx