(LESLIE'S POOL SUPPLIES) - May is National Water Safety Month, and according to experts, water safety has never been more important. Children are out of school, access to swimming lessons is limited, parents are busy working from home during the pandemic and many Americans are spending more time in their backyard pools.
Leslie’s has partnered with Dr. Tom Griffiths and Rachel Griffiths of the Aquatic Safety Research Group to provide tips on how to stay water safe this season.
- Designate a “water watcher.” That’s someone whose sole responsibility is watching the kids in the water without distractions such as cell phones or socializing with others. “This is so important when parents are juggling work responsibilities at home while the kids are out of school. Just being nearby isn’t enough – it takes just seconds for a tragedy to occur,” says Dr. Griffiths.
- Be ready to save a life. Have equipment on hand, such as a safety throw rope or lifesaving ring, a cell phone to call for help, life jackets and a first aid kit in case accidents occur. Adults should also learn CPR.
- Employ multiple proactive prevention devices around the pool. “Provide layers of protection, which means several proactive prevention devices or strategies in and around your pool so that if one fails, another will come into play,” says Dr. Griffiths. “Those measures can include a fenced enclosure with a self-closing, self-latching gate; pool alarms; safety covers; and U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets for weak or non-swimmers. Pool toys and floats are not water safety devices.”
- Make sure every family member knows how to swim. “Learning to swim should be a priority for every family, and it’s never too early to start,” says Dr. Griffiths. “Swimming is an important life skill that plays a key role in preventing drowning.”
- Make sure kids know the pool (or any body of water) is strictly off limits without adult supervision. “Kids will push boundaries. They might say, I’ll just stand on the top step or go in up to my knees, but then they are all the way in the water, and that’s when accidents happen,” says Rachel Griffiths.