Gone, at least for now, are lake levels that are the lowest in history, and most of the lakes are currently closed. However, 15 children have drowned in pools and tubs this year in the Metroplex, and 51 have drowned in Texas.
Because the lakes are closed doesn’t mean there are no drowning dangers for children. The safety tips here will help you ensure that your children are safe both in and outside your home, and your pools are not hazardous for other kids in the area.
Inside the Home:
- Never leave small children alone near any container of water. This includes toilets, tubs, aquariums, or mop buckets.
- Keep bathroom doors closed and secure toilet lids with lid locks.
- Never leave a baby alone in a bath for any reason. Get the things you need before running water. Infants can drown in any amount of water. So if you must leave the room take the child with you.
- Warn babysitters or caregivers about the dangers of water to young children and stress the need for constant supervision.
- Make sure small children cannot leave the house through pet doors or unlocked doors and get to pools or hot tubs.
- Keep pools well maintained and drains covered with grates in good repair. Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration.
- Keep at least two lifesaving devices on hand at all times.
- Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround your pool with a 4-foot high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
- Lock all doors leading to the pool area and secure hot tubs with locking covers or fences.
- Furniture or equipment can’t be used to scale a pool fence or release a lock.
- Keep children under active supervision at all times. Stay in arm’s reach of young kids. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Never leave children alone around with water whether it is in a pool, wading pool, drainage ditch, creek, pond or lake.
- Ensure everyone in the home knows how to swim well by enrolling them in age-appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses.
- Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors, such as “no diving,” “stay away from drain covers,” “swim with a buddy” and “walk please.”
- Ensure everyone in the home knows how to respond to aquatic emergencies by having appropriate safety equipment and taking water safety, first aid and CPR courses from the Red Cross. Keep emergency telephone numbers handy.
- Remove pool covers completely when in use.
- Store water toys away from the water when not in use so they don’t attract a small child. Don’t assume young children will use good judgment and caution around water.
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Please call me at 940-349-1600 if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions.