Water Safety

Water Safety…a reminder for parents and caregivers Adobe PDF document  
Drowning Prevention Questionnaire Adobe PDF document  
Preguntas Sobre la Prevencion de Ahogamiento Adobe PDF document  
Important facts to know when discussing water safety

Drowning has been the number one cause of accidental death in children 5 years of age or less in Arizona for the past 20 years. The risk is especially high for children in the first three years of life.85% of those deaths occur in backyard swimming pools. The rest occur in bathtubs, toilets, buckets or any collection of water more than 1 inch deep. Bathtub drownings occur because of lack of adult supervision. Many times older siblings are in the tub with the baby who drowns. Remind parents that another child, especially an older preschooler, cannot supervise a baby. Bucket drownings occur most commonly to “crawlers” who enter the bucket headfirst and cannot push themselves out. Empty buckets when not in use. Most drownings occur quickly and quietly. A small child who falls into a pool (or slips under the bathwater) does not thrash around and yell for help. It is all over in a few short minutes.”Adult supervision” means that the adult must have direct visual contact with every child in or around the water at all times and should be close enough to reach the infant or child immediately in case of trouble. 

The adult cannot be engaged in other activities such as cooking, phone calls, reading, or distracting conversations around the pool.

Families with back yard pools cannot be in visual contact with their children 24 hours a day. They need to provide barriers between their pool and their children.The most effective barrier is a permanent 5-foot fence with a self-latching, self-closing gate that opens away from the pool. Vertical slats should not be more than 4 inches apart.Certified safety covers are secondary barriers that only work if they are replaced completely every time the pool is not in use. Solar covers are not adequate barriers and may increase the risk of drowning.Multiple layers of barriers work best. No single barrier is fool proof. The goal of barriers is to slow the child down. The barrier has to be maintained, that is the gate shuts every time (and is not propped open), the alarm is turned on, the dog has not dug under the fence, etc.