May is National Water Safety Month, and appropriately so since pools will be opening up soon.
We all remember the tragic story of Olympic Swimmer Bode Miller and his wife Morgan losing their toddler to a drowning accident. Morgan shared with People.com
Understand that almost 70% of drownings occur when your children are not expected to be near the water. When you think they are in the playroom or on the sofa watching tv.
Even if you don’t have a pool at your home, there are other water sources to be aware of: kiddie pools in the back yard, bathtubs, retention pond, even coolers holding water could be a risk for young children. Morgan went on to share:
None of us are immune to this devastatingly life changing statistic. It [drowning] can happen so fast and forever change your world.
Pool Safety Tips
- Stay Close – Even if there is a lifeguard on duty stay close to the pool and keep an eye on your children. Remind them to stay clear of pool drains and lane ropes. There are lots of people in the pool lifeguards are watching, and every second matters in a drowning.
- Skills – Brush up on your own safety skills. Learn to perform CPR and understand the basics to assist in a pool emergency. Lots of neighborhood pools don’t have lifeguards on duty anymore. If an emergency were to arise it would be your responsibility to start rescue efforts until EMS could arrive.
- Kids Skills – Teach your kids how to swim. There are classes for infants to learn how to roll on their backs, too!
- Around the Pool – Keep the pool deck clear of clutter and tripping hazards. Also, make sure to encourage walking around the pool area. If you have your own pool make sure all the equipment is properly functioning and maintained. If you are using a neighborhood pool and notice some maintenance issue notify someone.
- If a child is Missing look in the pool FIRST!
In case of a water-related emergency, get the person out of the water immediately. Then call for help from anyone nearby and call 911. Time is of the essence.
Pools on your Premises & Insurance
Many insurance companies require fencing or covers around your pool. If you are thinking about getting a pool make sure you check with your agent to make sure you understand the requirements for your insurance too. There will probably be additional fees attached to your homeowner’s policy as well. Your agent should be able to get you that information quickly.