Friday, April 10, 2009

PLEASE! Watch Your Kids Around Water!

WARNING: This is Fatherhood Friday & Good Friday but the following is NOT a feel good posting. BellaDaddy's sharing important info on water safety. Therefore, if you were looking for a feel good, make you wanna smile all day type of writing, head on over to DAD-BLOGS...plenty to read and feel good about there. Here? Well, let's just say, someone needs to write this, and MORE need to read it.

Every year around this time, our local news is flooded with drownings and near drownings. ALL of which should NEVER have even come near to happening. Sadly, it does.

Every year, I sit and watch, tempted to change the channel or turn off the news altogether, simply because I find it extremely difficult to comprehend. HOW on earth do people lose track of their kids, even for that spilt second? No Clue. Every year, it is the same. Gates left open. No Gates at all. Parents napping while toddler crawls out doggie doors...etc...etc...etc...I will never be one to point fingers, however, I cannot advocate stupidity. We should ALWAYS be watching our kids...regardless of how tired, overworked, busy, etc...ALWAYS!, hoping, praying that this never happens to us, or anyone we know.

So, with that being said, please review the following tips. And remember,


Drowning Threat

In many states, drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for children one through four years age.

Children drown in pools, spas, buckets, toilets and bathtubs. A child can drown in as little as two inches of water.

A child can drown in less time than it takes to answer the telephone.

67% of all drowning deaths occur in their own backyard pool, spa or hot tub.

The majority of drowning incidents occur while the caretaker assumed the child was safely indoors.

25% of all children who have drowned or nearly drowned have had swimming lessons.

The risk of a drowning or near drowning is highest during the first six months a family has a pool.

For every drowning, an additional five near drowning cases are treated in the emergency room. Irreversible brain damage occurs in 3 to 5 minutes.

In California there are more than 330 people with irreversible brain damage because of near drowning incidents. Of this total more than 75 people are currently hospitalized at a cost of $120,000 per year for life.

Drowning is a silent killer. The victims don't cry for help. They are not getting enough air to breathe, so they don't have the extra air needed to call for help.

Drowning Prevention Tips

There is no substitute for adequate supervision. Children need to be watched. Never leave children unattended in or around pools or spas - not even for a second.

Access to the pool or spa area should be limited by locked doors, windows and self closing, self latching gates on fences surrounding the pool. Latches should be above the reach of children.

Do not allow children to play in pool areas. Keep toys out of the area.

Keep rescue equipment such as a long handled hook and a ring buoy with a rope hanging near the pool.

Many floatation toys are thought to be lifesavers but they are not! They are only toys and should be used only as toys and with adult supervision.

Install a phone by the pool so you can answer it without leaving children unattended.

Always keep chairs, tables, or toys away from the pool or spa fence to keep children from using them to climb over.

Do not allow anyone of any age to swim alone. Drowning happens to adults too. When you are entertaining a group of children or adults, have a designated pool watcher who is responsible for keeping track of everyone.

Examples of safe water behavior by adults are important for young children.

Always completely remove a pool or spa cover before use to avoid the possibility of anyone being trapped and drowning under the cover.

Have members of the family take a swim class and learn CPR.

Pools Inspection List

Is your pool surrounded by a 5 foot 6 inch high or higher fence or barrier?

Is the fence childproof with bars not more than 4 inches apart? If it is a chain link fence, the diamond shaped opening should be no larger than 1 3/4 inches.

Are the gates self-closing and self-latching? The self latching mechanism should be out of the reach of children. Is the self-latching mechanism at least 54 inches, from the bottom of the gate? If less than 54 inches, the latching mechanism should be located on the pool side of the gate.

Are all the gates kept locked?

Are all exit doors and windows leading from the house to the pool kept locked and secured?

Are pool rules posted in a visible location?

Is rescue equipment kept near the pool? A ring buoy with an attached line and/or a long handled hook.

Is the pool cover completely removed or properly installed? Never use a pool with its pool cover partially

in place.

Are steps and ladders leading to an above ground pool secured, locked or removed when the pool is not in use?

Are there plenty of approved PFD's (Personal Flotation Devices) available?

Are the diving board and any slides in safe operating condition?

Does the hot tub or spa have a solid, locking cover, and is the cover in place and locked when the spa or hot tub is not in use?

16 BellaBuddies left comments! Ya know ya wanna!!:

Jason said...

We don't have a pool and made the decision years ago that we wouldn't get a hot tub until the boys are teenagers.

Daddy Files said...

I agree. It's tragic but it's like the parents who accidentally leave their kids locked in the car during a heat wave. How the f*ck do you let that happen????

MileHighDad said...

So true! My son has been in summer YMCA swim lessons since he was two. When he was 5 years and 7 months last summer, he could swim the length of an Olympic sized pool without touching because of it. It still makes me nervous to watch, but I can deal with it better now.

2momswithaplan said...

Great post! Everyone should take these procautions into mind when having children.

There is also something called 'dry drowning'. Click the link to learn more -

Unknown said...

Good Post. I'm so tired of seeing the drowning stories and the "locked in car" stories. Tragic.

WeaselMomma said...

Thanks for posting this. This is a very important paost.

Otter Thomas said...

Great post. Informative and important.

Apok said...

Dude we just make our kid put on a snorkel in the morning when she gets dressed. Problem solved!

DaddyKV said...

This is very important. Accidents do happen though. This hits really close to home as a cousin of mine has severe brain damage and unable to do ANYTHING on his own due to a pool accident. I don't think its fair to look down on parents that have this happen as I know first hand their pool followed all the guidelines that you stated. But without going into it human error can always occur.
Great post and everyone should follow and take EXTRA caution when around pools or spas.

Happy FF

ciara said...

great tips for all pools whether they be your own or not. i often think i should get swim lessons because i'm a very weak one. i'd be useless & that's scary. but then i'm a paranoid mom so i'm always at the pool if the kids are in it.

Rob said...

Great Post. Pools are fun but can be dangerous. Parents need to be aware and watch their kids. Happy FF!!! Check me out at

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Mindy said...

Very informative information on swimming and drowning prevention. As a parent of a near drowning child over 23 years ago I have dedicated my life to making sure that what happened to me never happens to another child. It is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 5 and parents should take this very seriously. For more information on our mission please visit our website at
Keep the information out there and there will definintely be a decrease in these horrible tragedies. This is preventable.

Out-Numbered said...

This was a great post. Put a knot in my stomach. Good looking out. You're a good man...

Unknown said...

Great advice Bella Daddy. So many tragic events could be avoided!


Unknown said...

Thanks for commenting on our site as well and adding us to your Blog Roll. Much appreciated! I definitely want to keep up with you guys. Bella is beautiful!

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