• Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible.
  • Teach yourself water safety/rescue and swimming skills.
  • Appoint a "designated-water watcher" to monitor children during social gatherings at/or near bodies of water.
  • Always brief babysitters on water safety, emphasizing the need for constant supervision.
  • Keep rescue equipment accessible at poolside and post CPR instructions.
  • Invest in layers of protection for backyard pools such as: installing doors and windows that exit to a pool area with alarms and fencing with self closing latches.
  • Maintain constant visual contact with children in a pool or pool area.
  • Install a poolside phone, preferably a fully charged cordless model, with emergency numbers programmed into the speed dial.
  • If a child is missing, check all sources of water near home first; seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Always require all children and adults who are unable to swim to wear a USCG-approved life jacket
  • Be knowledgeable on basic emergency rescue techniques
  • Ensure children always wear a life jacket when boating AND set a good example by also wearing one yourself!
  • Don't rely on swimming lessons, life preservers or other equipment to make a child "water safe." There is no substitute for supervision.
  • Don't ever leave a child alone in a body of water (bathtub, pool, etc.), 2 seconds is too long, let the phone ring.
  • Don't allow children to push playmates, jump on others, "dunk" one another, dive or jump in shallow water.
  • Don't leave objects such as toys that might attract a child in the pool or pool area.
  • Don't use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
  • Never prop the gate to a pool area open.
  • Never assume someone else is watching a child in a pool area.
  • Don't leave chairs or other items of furniture where a child could use them to climb into a fenced pool area.
  • Don't think you'll hear a child who is in trouble in the water; drowning is a silent death, with no splashing to alert anyone that there is trouble.
  • Don't use ANY flotation device that is not approved by the USCG.

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ABCDs of Water Safety