Have Fun in the Sun with These Water Safety Tips
a guest post by Carson Gaffney, a Program Associate at Kids In Danger (KID), a nonprofit dedicated to keeping children safe by improving children’s product safety.
As the warmer weather settles in, families will be spending more time outside to soak up the sun and play in the water. Whether your family prefers the beach or the pool, there are a few safety considerations to be aware of.
When people think of water safety, they know that supervision is key. However, supervision is just one aspect of water safety. Accidental drownings don’t always happen the way we see them depicted on TV and in movies. Often, accidental drownings happen very quickly and silently. Supervision, swimming and CPR/first aid education, and product safety are all important to keep kids safe around water.
As with all children’s products, it is important to check pool toys and accessories for recalls. For example, S.R. Smith recalled Helix Pool Slides in February 2017 after 16 reports of users falling from the slide, 15 of which resulted in injuries. Search the name or the manufacturer of the product on www.CPSC.gov to view recall information. You can also use www.SaferProducts.gov to read other consumers’ safety reports, even for products that haven’t been recalled. Even if they haven’t been recalled, inflatable pool toys are not meant to be used as life vests or safety devices, and are not a substitute for supervision. Additionally, check drain covers in the pools you visit — they should have anti-entrapment covers that aren’t broken or loose.
Keep in mind that the same safety rules that apply to in-ground pools and other bodies of water also apply to portable, inflatable, or above-ground pools. All pools should be fenced to prevent unsupervised access by young children.
You might not think that tricycles and other wheeled toys are a drowning hazard, but they can be. If pools aren’t covered or blocked off by gates or fences, children riding bikes, scooters, or other wheeled toys may accidentally fall into the water and be at risk for drowning.
For more resources on water safety, check out the CPSC’s Pool Safely campaign. Their site includes resources for parents and caregivers, as well as educational tools for children. Take the Pool Safely pledge to show your commitment to water safety and share these resources with others.