Don’t wait for the moment an emergency happens to plan for it. Accidents happen fast. Kids can drown in twenty seconds. Take these seven steps to prevent a swimming emergency from becoming a disaster.
- Learn to swim yourself if you don’t already know how. If you’re keeping your kids safe by getting them swimming lessons, that’s great. Keep the whole family safe and give yourself the power to protect them by beefing up your own swimming skills.
- Learn CPR.
- Before you get into the water, make sure you know where to find a phone. Make sure that phone is working.
- Before you get into the water, make sure you know where to find emergency phone numbers. 911 is a great start and should always be the first call in case of emergency.
- Before you get into the water, make sure you know where to find the emergency shut-off for the pool pump. Pools now should have safety covers on the drain, but in the event that the suction traps a child at the drain—either because of strong suction or tangles hair or clothing—turning off the pool pump will stop the suction and make rescue easier.
- Before you get into the water, evaluate your surroundings. Don’t swim if the pool isn’t safe. Don’t swim in open water if you’re not familiar with the environment and there’s no lifeguard on duty. Don’t swim in weather that might produce lightning.
- Wear sunscreen and, if necessary, protective clothing. Reapply sunscreen frequently. Make sure that clothing you wear to protect yourself from the sun is designed to act as sun protection. Don’t wear cotton to protect yourself from the cold and wet. Instead, choose fabrics with better insulating properties.
Taking the time to prepare for emergencies will help keep you and your kids safe whether they’re just learning to swim or are solid swimmers.