Pool Safety Pledge Can Keep Children, Adults Safe During Summertime Fun
For children, swimming is one of the delights of summertime. But whether you own a pool or spend time at one of the many pools, lakes, or other water bodies in the area, recreation shouldn’t be the only thing on your mind when around the water. With an average of 10 people dying every day in the U.S. from drowning, you owe it to your child to make the experience as safe as possible.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional injury death for people ages 35 and younger.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that one in five of all drowning deaths are children ages 14 and younger. For every child who dies in a drowning accident, another five must receive emergency room care for nonfatal injuries from drowning.
Pool safety pledges for kids and adults
Water safety is the key to preventing drowning accidents. But prevention takes a collaborative effort. Even if a child is comfortable in the water, the environment must be kept free from obstacles and risks that could put him or her in a greater danger. For that reason, it’s crucial that people of all ages recognize their role in swimming safety this summer.
For children, parents can discuss the importance of staying where they are visible, using flotation devices, and refraining from horseplay. To drive home safety concerns, parents can opt for their child to make a safety pledge, or promise. Here is a sample:
I promise to be safe and follow all the rules in and around the water this summer. I will stay away from drains and not participate in horseplay. I will also do my best to succeed in swimming lessons and take those lessons seriously.
A simple statement like this along with a lesson on the risks of drowning can make water safety a reality for children. But children aren’t the only ones who need lessons in safety.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends adults take a pledge too. More than just raising your hand and reciting a promise, this pledge is about taking steps to ensure the water is safe for all occupants. The safety precautions should include:
- Making sure all children (and adults) present know how to swim
- Removing pool ladders when not in use so swimmers don’t get tangled in them
- Learning CPR
- Ensuring someone is watching the pool at all times when children are in the water
- Securing the pool and swimming area when no one is around to supervise
- Checking drains frequently for cover security and safety
Failing to do these things could result in a tragic “slips trips and falls” accident, the loss of a loved one, or even a premises liability lawsuit.
You are never too old for swimming lessons
One of the leading causes of drowning is a lack of swimming ability. Thousands of people who don’t know how to swim get in the water every year. But some never make it out alive.
The Red Cross has launched an effort this year to reduce drowning and increase the number of people who are water safe across the country. This means that finding Red Cross certified swim instruction is easier no matter where you live.
In their research, the Red Cross found that many adults are more confident in their water safety skills than they should be. Despite 80 percent of Americans claiming they know how to swim, only 56 percent could perform what’s considered the five basic swimming skills.
In all, more than half of all Americans can’t swim or don’t have the basic swimming skills to be safe in the water. As an adult, you owe it to yourself and your children to be a good example of safety and responsibility this summer.
You can learn more about swimming lessons in your area by searching the Red Cross website or contacting your local YMCA.
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