Enjoy your pool, but remember to LIFEGUARD your child around water.
Prepare your pool for swim season with these safety preventions:
Install four-sided fences with self-latching gates. Four-sided isolation fencing around home pools could prevent 50 percent to 90 percent of childhood drownings and near-drowning incidents. The fence should be at least 4 feet (preferably 5 feet) high with a self-closing/self-latching gate that only opens out. Reroute any doggie doors that have direct access to the pool area too. Pool and spa covers should be sturdy enough to support the weight of a child or multiple children. Latches should be properly locked whenever you are not using the area.
Use pool/door/child alarms. Door and window alarms can give you the valuable seconds needed to keep your children from getting outside to the pool. Make sure to alarm any windows and doors that open directly into the pool area. Pool surface alarms are also a great option to alert you if anyone/anything falls into the pool. You can even put an alarm on your child that will alert you if they are submersed.
Wear life vests with U.S. Coast Guard-approved labels. As your child grows, the lifejacket needs to meet their new weight. Get a new lifejacket if there are rips and tears or fraying of the straps. Look for the words "U.S. Coast Guard Approved" or "USCG Approved on the jacket." Any items filled with air (arm floaties, rafts, etc.) are considered toys and not a life saving device.
Insist on adult, NON-distracted Water Watchers. Children drown silently, so designate a Water Watcher to watch children in and around all water. A Water Watcher Tag is used to designate responsible adults to watch the water when you have a party at the pool, lake or beach. At social gatherings, 10-15 minute shifts are recommended for Water Watchers. During that time, Water Watchers should not be distracted by conversations, cell phones, reading, etc. Always check the pool first for missing kids ... seconds count! Your TxT Team will be happy to provide Water Watcher tags for those in charge.
Take family CPR lessons. Learning CPR can be the difference between life and death while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive. Check your local Red Cross and YMCA for classes.
Schedule water safety and swim lessons. Drownings and near drownings are 8 times more likely to happen to children that don't know how to swim or are being supervised by adults that don't know how to swim. Learning how to swim and practicing proper water safety techniques are crucial but children that know how to swim are still at risk. Need help finding swim lessons? Check out this list of providers in the Tarrant County area. If you're not in Tarrant County, you may want to contact your local YMCA, Red Cross, or parks and recreation center for information in your area.
Create and follow all pool rules. Make it a family priority and involve everyone.
Update pool drains and cleaning systems. Contact your TxT Team for help and assistance.