Water Safety at Home
Water Safety at Home
Here you’ll find everything you need to know about water in the home. Whether you’re bathing your baby in the sink or splashing around with your toddler in the bathtub, water is great fun for kids. But it’s also a place where safety must come first, so here are a few tips for kids who love to get wet.
The Hard FactsDrowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between 1 and 4 years old. And it’s the third leading cause of injury-related death among children 19 and under.
- Babies can drown in as little as one inch of water.
- Put the cell phone away, forget about all the other things you have to do and give young children 100 percent of your attention when they are near or around water.
- Empty all tubs, buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of children’s reach.
- Keep toilet lids closed and use toilet seat locks to prevent drowning. It’s also a good idea to keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.
- Parents have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better.
Residential swimming pools and spas
Multiple layers of protection can help ensure water safety and prevent drowning in a home pool or spa. If you have a pool or hot tub, follow all local safety ordinances. Also consider these general water safety tips:
- Fence it in. Surround your pool with a fence that’s at least 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall. Make sure slatted fences have no gaps wider than 4 inches (10.2 centimeters), so kids can’t squeeze through. Avoid chain-link fences, which can be easy for children to climb. Install self-closing and self-latching gates with latches that are beyond a child’s reach.
- Install alarms. If your house serves as part of your pool enclosure, protect any doors leading to the pool area with an alarm. Add an underwater pool alarm that sounds when something hits the water. Make sure you can hear the alarm inside the house.
- Block pool and hot tub access. Use a rigid, motorized safety cover to block access to the pool when it’s not in use. Secure a cover on hot tubs as well. Empty inflatable pools after each use. Don’t allow water to collect on top of the pool or hot tub cover. Remove aboveground pool steps or ladders or lock them behind a fence when the pool isn’t in use.
- Teach children to swim. Most children can learn to swim at about age 5 — but know that swimming lessons won’t necessarily prevent a child from drowning.
- Remove toys. Don’t leave pool toys in the water. A child might fall into the water while trying to retrieve a toy.
- Keep your eyes peeled. Never leave children unsupervised near a pool or hot tub. During social gatherings, adults who know how to swim can take turns being the “designated watcher.” Don’t rely on air-filled or foam toys, such as water wings, noodles or inner tubes, to keep children safe.
- Beware of drains. Don’t allow children to play near or sit on pool or hot tub drains. Body parts and hair can become entrapped by the strong suction. Use drain covers, and consider installing multiple drains to reduce the suction.
- Keep emergency equipment handy. Store a safety ring with a rope beside the pool. Make sure you always have a phone in the pool area.