· Drowning is the number one cause of injury death in children ages 1-4 (CDC)
· On average 10 persons die of drowning every day (CDC)
Five Layers of Water Safety
1. The first layer begins with you!
a. Water safety starts with the caregiver.
b. Persistent supervision and limit distractions that may interfere with supervision.
2. Inside the home!
a. Have a clear view of the pool from within the house. Access to exterior doors should be limited to adults-use childproof door locks and door alarms on all doors leading to the pool area.
3. The pool area!
a. Keep toys and floating objects out of the pool, and remove trip hazards from the pool’s edge. Maintain water levels three to four inches from the top. Pool covers can be used when the pool is not in use, or safety fences maintained around the pool.
4. Swimming lessons!
a. Use the buddy system!
b. Use life jackets for swimmers still learning, but do not rely on these alone. Establish rules for play area, ensuring drains and suction fittings are off-limits.
c. Teach children to always ask for permission to swim!
5. Outside the home!
a. The backyard should be secured, as well as the pool area with safety fences and self-closing, self-latching gates. Use an alarm for the gate. Keep furniture away from the safety fence-kinds love to climb! Hot tubs should have a locking cover.
b. Life vests for all (passengers and driver) when boating.
c. 23 percent of all boating accidents in Florida (2009 FWC stat) are DUI related.
d. Because there are no road signs or lane markers on the water and the weather can be unpredictable, it's important to be able to think quickly and react well under pressure. This is impossible do if you are driving impaired.
Be mindful that drinking and boating is drinking and driving!
Splashing around in a pool or enjoying the water from the comfort of your boat is a sure way to have summer fun. But it's important to make safety a priority to protect children and others in and around the water.
For more information on this topic and others, please contact the Crime Prevention Section at 863-298-6677.