Happy May everyone! You know what that means, National Water Safety Month! Florida loses more children under the age of five to drowning than any other state. According to the Florida Department of Health office of Injury Prevention, enough children to fill three to four preschool classrooms drown annually. The Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA) is joining thousands of organizations all over the world in educating the public on swimming pool safety.
Multiple preventative safety measures should be in place such as locks, alarms, barriers/ fences and certified safety covers. Barriers should be at least four feet tall and any gaps or openings should be too small for a child to crawl through or under. Other safety devices include door and window alarms, detection alarms around/ in the pool (there are several different types), personal immersion alarms for a child or pet, life rings and shepherd hooks.
Below are some additional safety tips.
- Enroll children in swimming lessons – survival classes can start as early as six months old
- When near the water, watch children with constant, undivided attention – put cell phones away!
- Appoint a designated pool watcher to keep an eye on swimmers at all times
- Learn CPR and keep emergency phone numbers posted in the pool area
- Never swim alone, this means adults too
- Do not leave anything near the fence that a child could use to climb over it
- Do not use a pool or spa while under the influence of drugs or alcohol