• Designate a "water watcher." This person should not be reading or texting. They should never take their eyes off the children. Adults should take turns and have a designated person watching at all times.
• Even if your child can swim, vigilance is needed. A child can slip and fall, get tired or play a dangerous water game such as "hold your breath."
• Learn to swim and teach your children to swim. Swimming lessons can protect against drowning. Go to www.usaswimmingfoundation.org and type in your ZIP code to find free and low-cost swim lessons close to you.
• Even children who've had lessons must be carefully supervised. Barriers, such as pool fencing, help prevent unsupervised access.
• Learn CPR. In the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills can save a life.
• Talk to your children about water safety. Children should be taught to never go into the water without a parent or guardian.
• Air-filled or foam toys are not safety devices. Don't use water wings, noodles or inner tubes instead of life jackets. These toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
• Drowning can happen quickly and quietly. You might expect a drowning person to splash or yell for help. Sometimes, people quietly slip beneath the water.
• Avoid the "everyone is watching, no one is watching scenario." Family and friends gather at a backyard barbecue and pool party. Adults assume everyone is watching the kids, but no one is watching.
• Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings. Drains should be covered with federally approved covers to avoid suction entrapment.
• Install pool fences. More than half of all drownings involving young children can be prevented by four-sided fencing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fences should be at least 4 feet high and have self-closing, self-latching gates that open outward. The latches should be out of a child's reach.
WATER SAFETY RESOURCES
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/
Georgia Department of Public Health: https://dph.georgia.gov/pools
National Drowning Prevention Alliance: http://ndpa.org/