Keeping kids safe around water

AJ city pool (Arianna Grainey/Independent Newsmedia)

Pool weather and summertime go hand in hand. Especially since pools are everywhere—in your backyard, apartment complexes, neighbors’ homes. As the weather gets warmer, more and more families are using their pools or attending pool parties.

But along with water fun, water safety should also be top of mind, considering the reality of tragic headlines associated with unsupervised young children around water, such as the recent case of a 4-year-old Peoria boy who drowned after using chairs to open a pool gate. These incidents are terrifying, and First Things First encourages all adults to play a role in watching young children around water and helping them stay safe this summer.

The Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona has three main safety tips for parents and caretakers of kids under 5 around water: block, watch and learn.

Block

Make sure the pool and/or spa has an effective barrier, such as a fence to help guard against unauthorized access. The pool or spa should have a barrier regardless of whether they are covered. Doors and windows leading to the pool areas should be locked. Fence gates should have self-closing, self-latching mechanisms. Latches need to be out of reach of young children.

Watch

Never leave children unattended in or near any water source such as a swimming pool, hot tub, spa, bathtub, water-filled bucket, pond or canal. Not even for a second. Keep toys, tricycles and other children’s play things away from the pool or spa. Don’t consider children to be “drownproof” because they have taken swimming lessons. Don’t allow barriers, such as fences or walls to give a false sense of security regarding a child’s safety. There is no substitute for adult supervision.

Learn

Learn how to administer CPR, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and other lifesaving techniques. To administer CPR correctly one must be properly trained. Know how to contact  local emergency medical services. Keep a cell phone handy. Post the emergency number in an easy to see place. Learn to swim and teach age-appropriate children to swim.

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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