Drowning is often silent and can happen in a few moments. Florida leads the country in drowning deaths of children ages 1-4 many of them unattended.
FACT: 90% of Florida’s swimming pools were built before the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act took effect.
Drowning prevention starts with three easy layers
LAYER 1: SUPERVISION
In the short time, it takes to answer a phone or check food on the stove an unattended child can drown. For children ages 1-4, the majority of drownings occur in residential swimming pools. Supervision, the first and most critical layer of protection, means an adult that can swim is always watching.
TIP: Assign a water watcher at your gathering. A water watcher is a strong swimming adult assigned to watch children in the water. The water watcher should be a strong swimmer that is sober. Switch out water watchers every 30 minutes to ensure they don’t suffer from fatigue or distractions.
Children should never be allowed to enter a pool or waterway unattended. Barriers physically block a child from a pool or waterway.
Some examples of barriers:
-Child-proof locks on all doors
-A pool fence with self-latching and self-closing gates
-Door and pool alarms
-Childproof door locks
FACT: The Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act, F.S. Chapter 515, requires only one physical barrier for pools built after 2000. The Florida Department of Health and Pasco County Fire Rescue strongly recommends multiple barriers to help ensure safety and using “layers of protection” to help prevent drowning.
LAYER 3: EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
There is a small window of time to issue life-saving interventions when someone stops breathing. Even if you’re not a parent, it’s important to learn CPR. Remember to call 911 early to give rescuers the most amount of time to provide treatment.