Water and swimming pool safety tips


300-2-GIRLS-SWIMMINGHistoric City News readers who have swimming pools and enjoy the miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches and riverfront embankments at many locations around St Johns County, know that water safety is an important topic, year-round in Florida.

Children and adults should be aware of the steps necessary to stay safe. There have been numerous drowning and near drowning incidents in Florida in recent weeks. Below are some important water and swimming pool safety tips.

• When near the water, watch children with constant, undivided attention.

• Do not become distracted with things such as text messaging, talking on the phone or yard work.

• Have a designated pool watcher keep an eye on swimmers at all times.

• Do not leave anything nearby that a child could use to climb over the fence.

• Remove steps to above ground pools when not in use.

• Learn to swim and enroll children in swimming lessons starting as early as six-months-old.

• Learn CPR and keep emergency phone numbers posted in the pool area.

Watching your children is just as important when everyone is indoors. Children are curious, creative and innovative; they can quickly figure out how to get outside and water can pique their interest.

For this reason it is important to have several layers of protection between children and the pool.

Safety devices that are available include a mesh barrier fence, self-closing and self-latching gate, alarms – for doors and windows and for detection in and around the pool, personal immersion alarms, certified safety covers, life rings and shepherd’s hooks.

While a backyard swimming pool is an obvious place to be practicing water safety, don’t forget that bathtubs, lakes or ponds, inflatable kiddie pools and the beach. They are all on the list as well.