FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – South Florida parents who are working from home during the pandemic are facing a safety challenge while children are spending more time around the house pool than usual.
Here is a list of safety tips to consider:
1. Never leave child unattended
Work can’t come to a grinding halt just because you are working remotely. Designate an official “Water Watcher,” an adult tasked with supervising children in the water. That should be their only task – they shouldn’t be reading, texting or playing games on their phone. Have a phone close by at all times in case you need to call for help, and if a child is missing, check the pool first.
2. Teach children how to swim
Find your community swimming instructor to get tips on how to teach your child the lifesaving skill.
3. Teach children to stay away from pool drains
Do not play or swim near drains or suction outlets, especially in spas and shallow pools, and never enter a pool or spa that has a loose, broken or missing drain cover. Children’s hair, limbs, jewelry or bathing suits can get stuck in a drain or suction opening. When using a spa, be sure to locate the emergency vacuum shutoff before getting in the water.
4. Make sure your pool has compliant drains
All pools and spas must have drain grates or covers that meet safety standards to avoid the powerful suction from hurting a child.
5. Install proper fences, barriers, alarms and covers
The fence needs to be at least four feet in height and surround the pool or spa on all sides. Install a door alarm from the house to the pool area, and keep pool and spa covers in working order.
6. Know how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on children
Learning CPR can help save a life.