Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

The majority of drownings we see at Cook Children’s occur in swimming pools. Whether it’s a public pool, your neighbor’s pool or your own pool, it’s important to put certain safety measures in place to keep your child from drowning.

One to four year olds are at the most risk to drown in a pool.At this age, toddlers learn by exploring and often have no fear of water. They are unsteady on solid ground and often end up accidentally falling into water without the proper survival skills.

As children get older, they are not drown proof either. Even strong swimmers are at risk for drowning. Put multiple safety measures in place, whether it’s during a time when you plan to be around water or a time when a toddler accidentally finds themselves around water without an adult in sight.

Family stories

Play
Play
Play
previous arrow
next arrow
previous arrownext arrow
Slider

Pool safety home owner tips:

Install four-sided fences with self-latching gates.

  • Four-sided isolation fencing around home pools could prevent 50 percent to 90 percent of childhood drownings and near-drowning incidents.
  • The fence should be at least 4 feet (preferably 5 feet) high with a self-closing/self-latching gate that only opens out.
  • Reroute any doggie doors that have direct access to the pool area too.
  • Pool and spa covers should be sturdy enough to support the weight of a child or multiple children.
  • Pool gates should have child proof locks and should remain locked whenever you are not using the area.

Create your own pool rules.

  • When having people over to swim, explain your expectations about guests watching their children in the water. Or create a Water Watcher schedule to assign
    non-distracted adult Water Watchers to focus on children in the pool.
  • A Water Watcher tag can be used to designate responsible adults to watch the water when you have a party at the pool, lake or beach. At social gatherings, 10-15 minute shifts are recommended for Water Watchers. During that time, Water Watchers should not be distracted by conversations, cell phones, reading, etc.

Use pool/door/child alarms.

  • Door and window alarms can give you the valuable seconds need to keep your children from getting outside to the pool. Make sure to alarm any windows and doors that open directly into the pool area.
  • Pool surface alarms are also a great option to alert you if anyone/anything falls into the pool. You can even put an alarm on your child that will alert you if they are submersed.

Update pool drains and cleaning systems.

  • Children should stay away from pool drains and other cleaning equipment as they have powerful suction that can pull them down to the bottom of the pool. Swim suit straps, hair and other items can easily get caught. There are certain safety drain covers that can prevent this from happening.

Other pool safety tips

Insist on adult, non-distracted Water Watchers.

  • Children drown silently, so designate a Water Watcher to watch children in and around all water. A Water Watcher should be in-reach at all times of the children in the pool. The safest way is to be in the pool with them.
  • A Water Watcher tag can be used to designate responsible adults to watch the water when you have a party at the pool, lake or beach. At social gatherings, 10-15 minute shifts are recommended for Water Watchers. During that time, Water Watchers should not be distracted by conversations, cell phones, reading, etc.
  • If a child goes missing, always check the pool first for missing kids … Seconds count!
  • Send an email to safe.kids@cookchildrens.org to request your Water Watcher tag.

Wear life vests with U.S. Coast Guard-approved labels.

  • If your child’s lifejacket doesn’t say “US Coast Guard Approved” or “USCG approved,” you can assume it’s not safe. Always check the label.
  • Any items filled with air (arm floaties, rafts, etc.) are considered toys and not a life saving device.
  • And as your child grows, the lifejacket needs to meet their new weight. Get a new lifejacket if there are rips and tears or fraying of the straps.

Take family CPR lessons.

  • Learning CPR can be the difference between life and death while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.
  • Check your local Red Cross and YMCA for classes.

Create and follow all pool rules.

  • Read all informational signs presented at the pool.
  • Listen to lifeguards while attending public pools.
  • Assign a non-distracted adult Water Watcher to focus on children in the pool.
  • Check your local Red Cross and YMCA for classes.

Schedule water safety and swim lessons.

  • Drownings and near drownings are eight times more likely to happen to children that don’t know how to swim or are being supervised by adults that don’t know how to swim.
  • Learning how to swim and practicing proper water safety techniques are crucial but children that know how to swim are still at risk.
  • Need help finding swim lessons? Check out this list of providers in the Tarrant County area (Link contact list). If you’re not in Tarrant County, you may want to contact your local YMCA, Red Cross, or parks and recreation center for information in your area.

Help us promote safety

We’ve put together the below social media kit for easy sharing among your friends and family. It takes a village and together, we can help prevent another child from drowning.

Please feel free to use our messaging or create your own. To use our messaging, all you have to do is copy the messages we’ve provided below and insert the appropriate photo into whichever social media site you prefer to use. We do ask that you keep #LifeguardYourChild in the message.

Check pool

Drowning is silent and can happen in less than two minutes. #lifeguardyourchild

Clean-up time

Cleaning up after pool time can be chaotic. Take your child’s life vest off once you’ve reached the car. #lifeguardyourchild

Avoid distractions

No phone, grilling, reading, sleeping or being distracted by friends. Eyes should only be on the water. #lifeguardyourchild

Pool barriers

Children are curious and can often slip out of sight without a parent or guardian knowing. The more barriers you have in place, such as door and pool latches, the safer your child. #lifeguardyourchild

No floaties

Commonly used floaties are not a lifesaving device. Use a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest instead. #lifeguardyourchild

Stay off phone

When watching children in the water, the only reason you need your phone is if you have to call 911. #lifeguardyourchild

Texas #1

Help us make a change and lifeguard your child! Let’s work together to make Texas No. 1 in the nation for drowning prevention. #lifeguardyourchild

Pool drains

The power of the suction on older pool drains can be very dangerous, causing a child to get pinned to the bottom of the pool. #lifeguardyourchild

Clean up toys

Toys in the pool can be tempting to fearless toddlers. When you’re done swimming, make sure the pool area is clear of these potential hazards. #lifeguardyourchild

Get involved and help us save lives

Want to know how you can get involved or create an awareness campaign in your community? Contact Dana Walraven, Safe Kids Tarrant County coordinator.

682-885-1619 safe.kids@cookchildrens.org