As you prepare for a fun summer with family and friends, don’t forget the ABCs of Water Safety. The following are important water safety reminders for swimmers of all ages and ability from the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA).
ABC’s of Water Safety (source: OCFA)
A is for Active Adult Supervision
- Keep infants and toddlers within an arm’s reach when near water.
- Never swim alone, even adults.
- Never rely on water wings, rafts, or other swimming aids in place of U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices (life jackets).
- If a child or adult is missing, every second counts. Check the water and the bottom of the pool FIRST!
B is for Barriers
- Install and maintain proper fencing around the pool and spa to isolate swimming areas from the home and play areas.
- Use multiple layers of protection, such as fences, gate/door alarms, and safety covers, to keep children away from pools and spas.
- Use self-closing, self-latching gates that open outward, away from the pool.
- Remove items such as chairs or tables that a child could use to climb over a fence.
C is for Classes
- Learn to swim. Do not rely on swimming aids such as water wings, rafts, or noodles.
- Learn first aid and CPR. Always keep a phone nearby to call 9-1-1.
- Teach children that running, jumping, and pushing others on pool decks is dangerous and can cause injuries.
- Keep children away from pool/spa drains to avoid entrapment and entanglements.
- Keep long hair tied back and remove dangling items like jewelry and
- bathing suit ties.
- Install compliant safety drain covers and automatic shut-off pump systems (Safety Vacuum Release Systems).
- Identify and mark the location of the electrical cut-off switch for the pool or spa pump.
- Know where the pool/spa pump switch is and how to turn it off.
Below are links to helpful handouts from OCFA in five languages, which can be printed and placed on your refrigerator or somewhere visible for the whole family. Also, please share this information with caregivers.
ABCs of Water Safety
- English http://bit.ly/2kWaH7A
- Chinese http://bit.ly/2JtMbFO
- Korean http://bit.ly/2JA68xY
- Spanish http://bit.ly/2kXSXc6
- Vietnamese http://bit.ly/2kXiq5A
For additional Water Safety Rules and other helpful resources, visit OCFA’s drowning prevention webpage, which includes tips and videos. http://www.ocfa.org/SafetyPrograms/DrowningPrevention.aspx
Have a fun and safe summer!