Golden Rules of Water Safety & Drowning Prevention
Pool Safety We don’t only build,renovate or clean pools just because it’s a job. We here at The Pretoria Swimming Pool Guru genuinely have a desire to help as many people enjoy their time in the water in as safe a manner as possible. To hopefully help aid in that effort, we have provided our top 10 water safety rules/tips to hopefully help you stay safe and have a great time the next time you’re in the water.
- Never swim alone: Always make sure someone watches you when you swim. Even adults.
- Learn to swim: At six months, children should start swimming lessons. Adults who don’t know how should learn to swim too.
- Learn to save lives: Parents & caregivers should get certified in CPR & first aid. Always keep a phone ready in case of emergencies.
- Look out for others: Always swim with a buddy: call for help when someone is in trouble. Never try rescue alone.
- Pack a Life Jacket: take Coast Guard-approved life jackets when going to the beach, lake or pool party to float properly. Never depend on inflatable floaties and toys. They are designed to entertain – not to save lives.
- Make sure the water is safe: Is the water clear? Can you see the drain at the bottom of the pool? Is someone responsible watching
- Check the pool: Does it have a fence and working gate that stays shut? A weight-bearing pool cover? Without those, children or pets can fall in easily and drown. Who is the lifeguard or supervisor?
- “Reach and throw – don’t go!” : Never try to save anyone by jumping in yourself; then two people are at risk. Throw them something that floats, or grab a pole that reaches them. Yell yell YELL for help and call 911.
- Never dive in shallow water: Ask the lifeguard or a parent where it is safe to dive. Don’t dive if there’s no one to ask.
- Obey pool and water safety rules: No running, no eating, no gum, no glass containers. Get out at the first sign of thunderstorms or lightning. If there is no lifeguard or supervising adult, wait until later to swim.
Why Is It Important to Be Safe in the Water?
Fish are able to live and breathe in water, but people need air to breathe. People drown when too much water gets into their lungs. When that happens, the lungs can’t put oxygen in the blood. Then, too little oxygen gets to the brain and the rest of the body.
Drowning is the second most common cause of death from injuries among kids under the age of 14. Drowning can happen so fast — sometimes in less than 2 minutes after a person’s head goes under the water. That leaves very little time for someone to help.
Many drownings and near-drownings happen when a kid accidentally falls into a swimming pool. But accidents can happen anywhere — at someone’s home or even at your own house, and that’s why you need to know how to be safe around water.
Pools are awesome! What could be better than a dip in the pool and fun in the sun? But it’s important to remember that a pool’s sides and bottom are usually made of concrete, a rock-hard material. A slip or fall could be painful and dangerous.
Have you seen those big numbers painted on the side of the pool? Those are called depth markers — they tell you how deep the water is at that point. You should always look before you jump into a pool. Also, only dive off the diving board. Never dive off the side of the pool unless an adult says that the water is deep enough. The water may be shallower than you think. If you hit the bottom . . . ouch! You might get knocked out or you could hurt your neck very badly.
Test the pool’s water temperature before you plunge in. Cold water can shock your body and make your blood pressure and heart rate go up. You might open your mouth to yell and accidentally breathe in some water. Cold water also can slow your muscles, making it hard to swim.
Other rules to follow:
- Always have an adult watch you when you are in the pool — even in your own backyard. Never go in the pool if there is no adult around. Always call an adult or lifeguard if there is an emergency.
- Gates are around pools for a reason — to keep kids away from the water when there isn’t a lifeguard or adult around to watch them. Never go through any pool gates when they are closed. Stay safe and stay out!
- Always obey pool rules.
- Swim with a buddy.
- If you’re learning to swim, ask your mom or dad to make sure your flotation devices are Coast Guard-approved.
- Walk slowly in the pool area. Don’t run.
- Swim at a depth that is safe for you. If you’re just learning to swim, stay in the shallow end.
- Don’t push or jump on others. You could accidentally hurt someone or yourself.
- Toys to help you float come in many shapes and sizes (an inner tube, air mattress, or beach ball, for example). Although they’re fun and can help you while you learn to swim, what they can’tdo is save a life. They’re toys that can lose air or float away.
- Don’t chew gum or eat while you swim — you could choke.