A common misconception is that water-related incidents only occur during intentional swim times. Although accidents can definitely occur in those moments, it’s important to recognize that drowning can happen in a number of scenarios other than swimming. The following are important measures to take to keep both children and adults safe in moments when we may least expect a water-related injury.
Keep Pool Areas Fenced in When Not in Use
This point is especially important for backyard pools, where young children live at the residence. Fences, at least 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall, should separate the pool area from the house and yard. A slated fence is best, as you don’t want to impede the view of the pool from outside the fenced area. The gaps between vertical slates should be no more than 4 inches, to prevent a small child from squeezing through.
This also applies to hot tubs as well. If your hot tub isn’t in a fenced off area, ensure that is well secured with a hot tub cover when not in use.
Always Supervise Bath Time
A baby can drown in just a few inches of water. Due to their lack of body strength and top-heavy nature, they can easily slip under the water and drown silently–without coughing or splashing. This is important to recognize, as many parents believe that drowning comes with a ton of warning signs and in many cases, this isn’t the case.
Forgo Alcohol Around the Water
Many adults have a false sense of security around water and this can be heightened with the consumption of alcohol. At all costs, alcohol should be avoided if you are boating, swimming or supervising children swimming.
Swim in Designated Swim Areas
Many people put themselves in harms way, prior to even entering the water, by swimming in areas that haven’t been deemed safe for swimming. Designated swim areas, have been checked to ensure the water is free from hazards and signs will be present to explain what before is and isn’t allowed, such as diving in the water.