May is National Drowning Prevention Month, and it’s the perfect time to address a topic that gathers the most attention during the summer months. Drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 14 and under, but it is something that can often be prevented. We all love swimming, especially during the summer, but safety should always come first.

You are not Superman or Wonder Woman.

Don’t believe the myth that drowning only occurs because of neglectful parents who don’t watch their children closely. Drowning can happen in seconds, without a sound, and with parents only steps away. Parents should take precautions when children are in and around water, and children should always remain in sight.

Flotation devices are not substitutes for adult supervision.

A child may be confident in the water with an inflatable tube, water wings, or a life jacket, but accidents can still happen. Inflatable toys can flip, and a life jacket that is not secured properly can slip off. Never assume that you can turn your back for even a couple moments. For infants and small toddlers especially, it is recommended that adult supervision be hands-on.

CPR truly does save lives.

If you have a backyard pool or frequent a community pool, obtain CPR certification. Classes are offered in Northeast Ohio through the American Red Cross. If an accident were to occur, you could save someone’s life. It’s worth a few hours out of your day to learn lifesaving skills.

Don’t invite temptation.

Water toys and uncovered pools are a big temptation for children of all ages. A child might wander to the edge of the pool and try to reach for a toy, with no intention of trying to swim. Older kids might dare each other to jump into open pools at night, when no adult supervision is present. Scenarios like these can all lead to drowning, and by removing easy access to the water and associated toys, you can prevent an accident. Your pool should be fenced in and secured with a locked gate and cover.

Educate your children, too.

Drowning prevention starts with all of us. Before your children even step outside, you should have a serious talk about the dangers of pools, spas, and any other body of water your child may frequent. Let your children know that they should never go swimming without adult supervision, and that it’s okay to back out of an activity if it looks unsafe.

Swimming can be an exciting summer activity, but without the proper precautions and education, it can also be a dangerous one. Even the best swimmers can have accidents (which is why it is recommended that adults never swim alone either). Drowning can be prevented simply by knowing where children are at all times and taking the proper steps to eliminate hazards.

During National Drowning Prevention Month – and year-round – take steps to ensure the safety of everyone in and around bodies of water.

Are you ready to open your pool for the summer? We have slots available for pool openings as well as ongoing cleaning services for both residential and commercial pools. If you operate a commercial pool, Hastings Water Works can help you with your lifeguard staffing needs.  Just get in touch; then, relax and enjoy your pool.

Additional Pool Safety Resources:

See Governor John R. Kasich’s proclamation

Download the guide [PDF]