Drowning is one of the largest causes of accidental death for American Infants and children under the age of five. Here are eight drowning prevention tips for pools, spas, and hot tubs:

  1. The pool area should have a barrier to keep children away from the area in the absence of adult supervision. Barriers can be a fence with an inside latch that is 54” high, above the reach of toddlers and young children. Make sure there are no chairs or objects close to the gate that would allow a child to stand on a chair and open the latch. The gate should be self-closing and self-latching. Any doors leading from the house to the pool area should be locked or have an audible alarm when doors are opened.
  2. Children should never be left unsupervised or out of your sight – not even for a second. Children can “quietly” fall into a pool. Don’t expect to hear a big splash.
  3. Get CPR-certified and keep a phone close to the pool in case of an emergency.
  4. Check that the pool has a main drain cover and that no suction fittings are missing or broken. If missing, this could lead to entrapment of a person’s body or hair that leads to drowning or permanent damage.
  5. Remove all toys, floats, and balls from your pool. These might entice a toddler to lean over and try to pick an item out of the pool. Toddlers can lose their balance and tumble in the pool.
  6. All covers should be completely removed to avoid any possibility of someone becoming trapped under the cover.
  7. Do not play games that include holding your breath for long periods of time. This could lead to passing out and then drowning.
  8. Never assume that someone else is watching the kids at a party or social gathering. Your children are your responsibly – PERIOD!

Drowning is not limited to swimming pools. Our friend, Dana Gage, lost her son, Conner, on August 31, 2012, at the age of 15 in a lake. He went to a birthday party at a lake house. Connor jumped from the roof of a boathouse and landed badly. He did not resurface. Forty minutes later, Connor was pulled from the lake by a dive team. Connor was an experienced swimmer. Conner was not wearing a life vest. You can’t see through lake water and people sink in lake water. ALWAYS wear a life vest!

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