May is National Safety Water Month and with Florida leading the nation with the highest amount of drowning deaths in children under age 5, it’s a good reminder to practice these pool safety tips.
Keep rescue equipment poolside such as a shepherd’s crook or a life preserver. Additionally, a first aid kit should be kept in the same area.
- Install alarms on doors and windows that lead to or have an exit through the pool area so that the presence of a child that wanders near the pool alerts Florida homeowners.
- Invest in swimming lessons and water safety courses as early an age as possible.
- Assign one (sober and responsible) person to watch or keep an eye on the area and activities at or around the pool during parties or gatherings.
- If you hire a babysitter, be sure and inform them of any safety procedures and rules around the pool whether they will be in the pool or not.
- Phone home. Even in this day and age, it’s important to have an actual landline installed outside near the pool with emergency numbers programmed into it in case of an emergency. Remember, when you call 911 from a cell, they don’t know your immediate location within seconds.
- Know basic CPR skills or better yet, get certified. You can even post basic instructions near the pool—it could save a life.
- Put in an isolation fence that is four-sided and at least five feet in height with latches and gates that are self-closing.
- Move toys away from the pool or near the pool when not in use. Having toys near the pool area could bring a child closer to the water and closer to the risk of drowning.
- Keep chairs or chaise lounges away from an area where a child could use it as a ladder. If you have ever seen a toddler trying to reach cookies in a cabinet you know the drill.
- Know the signs of drowning. Remember, most people downing do NOT yell for help. If it’s too quiet, go do a quick check of the pool area.
- Consult with your Florida homeowners agent before buying a home with a pool or adding a pool to your home. Homeowners insurance policies and rates do vary as pools are considered a risk.
Enjoy and have a safe and fun summer with these tips!