The City of Titusville, Florida / Fire & Emergency Services / NewsSwimming Safety
||Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1-4 years.
Our warmer weather is back and activities involving water, such as swimming and boating, will be on the increase in the coming months. Water safety prevention and response are extremely important topics for parents and caregivers to consider. In fact, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1-4.
Whether it’s a trip to the beach or a dip in the community or backyard pool, you can ensure that swimming is as safe as it is fun by following a few basic safety tips.
Start Slow with Babies
- Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention.
- Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm’s reach to provide active supervision.
- If children are near water then they should be the only thing on the parent’s mind. Small children can drown in as little as one inch of water.
- When there are several adults present and children are swimming, use the Water Watcher card strategy, which designates an adult as the Water Watcher for a certain amount of time (such as 15-minute periods) to prevent lapses in supervision.
Don’t Rely on Swimming Aids
- You can start introducing your babies to water when they are about 6 months old. Remember to always use waterproof diapers and change them frequently.
Learn CPR--It’s Important!
- Remember that swimming aids such as water wings or noodles are fun toys for kids, but they should never be used in place of a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD).
Take Extra Steps Around Pools
- Learning CPR should be on the top of your list. It will give you peace of mind.
- Local hospitals, fire departments and recreation departments offer CPR training. Titusville Fire & Emergency Services offers “Friends and Family CPR.”
- Most important have your children learn CPR.
Educate Your Kids About Swimming Safety
- Make sure backyard pools have four-sided fencing that’s at least 4 feet high and a self-closing, self-latching gate to prevent a child from wandering into the pool area unsupervised.
- Inflatable or portable pools should be emptied immediately after use and stored out of the reach of children.
- Install a door alarm, a window alarm or both to alert you if a child wanders into the pool area unsupervised.
- Children should be enrolled in swimming classes when the parent feels they are ready. Teach children how to tread water, float and stay by the shore.
Check the Drains in Your Pool and Spa
- Make sure kids swim only in areas designated for swimming. Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool. They need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.
- Children should be taught to always swim with a partner at all times and to never go near water without an adult present.
- Educate your children about the dangers of drain entanglement and entrapment and teach them to never play or swim near drains or suction outlets.
- Pools that pose the greatest risk of entrapment are children’s public wading pools, in-ground hot tubs, or any other pools that have flat drain grates or a single main drain system.
- For new pools or hot tubs, install multiple drains in all pools, spas, whirlpools and hot tubs. This minimizes the suction of any one drain, reducing risk of death or injury. If you do have drains, protective measures include anti-entrapment drain covers and a safety vacuum release system to automatically release suction and shut down the pump should entrapment occur.
- Regularly check to make sure drain covers are secure and have no cracks, and replace flat drain covers with dome-shaped ones. If a pool or hot tub has a broken, loose or missing drain cover, don’t use it.