Miles of Gulf Coast beaches, endless canals, and backyard pools under warm sunny skies beckon Southwest Florida residents to the water every day. Remember to keep these fun and easy water safety tips in mind when you are in, on, or around the water this summer!
Supervision: Someone should always be actively watching children when they are in the pool. This means don’t play around on your phone or get involved in a big conversation while watching the kids. Designate a “Water Watcher” to keep an eye on swimmers.
Barriers: A child should never be able to enter the pool area unaccompanied by an adult. Barriers physically block a child from the pool.
- child-proof locks on all doors
- a pool fence with self-latching and self-closing gates
- door and pool alarms.
Pool covers may also be used but make sure it is a professional cover fitted for your pool. A simple canvas covering can be a drowning hazard and entrap a child in the water. Florida law requires barriers for home pools.
Swimming Lessons: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 4 and older learn to swim in order to help prevent drowning. It also encourages caregivers of children ages 1-3 to consider swim instruction for their child, as studies have shown it reduces drowning incidents. Caregivers should learn to swim as well. To find swimming lessons in your area, contact your local YMCA, city facilities, or swim school or call 2-1-1. Many of these programs have scholarships available.
Emergency Preparedness: The moment a child stops breathing there is a small, precious window of time in which resuscitation may occur, but only if someone knows what to do. Even if you’re not a parent, it’s important to learn CPR. The techniques are easy to learn and can mean the difference between life and death. In an emergency, it is critical to have a phone nearby and immediately call 911. To learn more about CPR or find a CPR certification course, call 2-1-1 or visit the American Red Cross or American Heart Association.
In addition, you can check the status of beach conditions in Sanibel here.