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Water Safety for Families

While swimming is one of the greatest things about summer in Central Texas, water also presents one of the most dangerous settings for children. Drowning is the #1 accidental killer of infants and toddlers, and for older kids it’s the second leading cause. If there is a pool or hot tub on your property, or your family visits any swim spots, please follow these important simple steps from Travis County ESD No. 2 to help keep children safe: 

TEACH KIDS TO SWIM. Swimming is not only fun, it is also an important life-saving skill. Enroll your kids in swimming lessons when they are still young. There are many low-cost options available in the area. 

WATCH THE WATER.  If you can’t swim or your kids can’t swim, stay away from the water!  Every time kids are around any water - including pools, hot tubs, lakes, creeks, rivers, or oceans - at least one adult who is a strong swimmer should be designated as the official “Water Watcher.” This person has a very important job. The Water Watcher is responsible for staying focused on the kids the ENTIRE TIME. Do not become distracted by texts, phone calls, earphones/music, reading, or napping! If you use babysitters, ensure they are strong swimmers, and insist that they closely supervise your children every moment.

FENCE ALL POOLS.  Many of the nearly 300 children under 5 years old who drown each year in backyard pools in the U.S. could be SAVED if homeowners completely fenced in pools. It’s also very important to install self-closing, self-latching devices on gates. Anyone who has cared for young children knows how fast they can move, so install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water.

STAY AWAY FROM DRAINS. Teach kids to always avoid drains. Ensure all pools and spas – both on your property and any public or hotel pool you may visit – have compliant drain covers. By law, all public pools and spas must have drain grates/covers that meet safety standards to avoid fatal accidents, but some still don't. ASK to be sure!  Powerful suction from a pool or spa drain can even trap an adult.

LEARN CPR.  Travis County ESD No. 2 provides free, compression-only CPR training to groups age 13 and older. Call the Fire Department at (512) 251-2801 and ask for Community Outreach to learn more about Take 10 CPR. Remember the 3 C’s:

           -  CHECK for signs of life

           -  CALL 9-1-1 to get help on the way

           -  COMPRESS the center of the chest hard and fast until help arrives

Copyright © 2012 Travis County ESD No. 2 / Pflugerville Fire Department. All Rights Reserved.

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