Submitted by Judy Fernandez, ISR Self-Rescue®
It’s 2017 and drowning is still the leading cause of death in children under the age of 4. Please don’t think it can’t happen to you. Home pools are the “norm” here in Cape Coral. There are many ways to keep your children safe. It all starts with educating yourself. With our recent population boom that is only expected to grow, here are some layers of protection that I hope parents will use when it comes to keeping their children water safe.
CEOS – Constant Eyes On Supervision. Pool parties are a way of life here in the Cape. Don’t ever assume someone is watching your child. Designate a ‘Water Watcher’ and rotate every 15 minutes. Someone should always have their eyes on children while in the pool or around water at all times. It only takes seconds for children to drown. Remember, drowning is silent.
Pool Fences – If you own a pool here in the Cape with young children and don’t have a fence, please ask yourself why? Fences are a great way to protect children from reaching the water alone. Pool fences should be at least 4 feet high and be self-latching. While pool fences are great, keep in mind that children are curious and fearless. Lots of children figure out how to push patio furniture to the fence and get themselves over. Make sure you spend the money to buy heavy patio furniture that will make it tougher for children to move.
Door Alarms – Door alarms are another way to alert you if any of your doors have been opened. They are easy to install and can be purchased at any local hardware or big box store. Make sure you place an alarm on all doors, especially those who have bathroom doors leading to the pool area.
Avoid Floatation Devices – These include water wings, puddle jumpers, baby rings, and any other device that suspends a child’s head above the water. This gives both children and parents a false sense of security. Lots of these are even “Coast Guard Approved” which still boggles my mind as a local and native Floridian. Children don’t have the cognitive ability to understand that this “floatie” is keeping them above water. In fact, children who use these devices really think they can “swim” when that is not the case. Of course, if you are boating, life jackets, also known as personal flotation devices, are required by law for every passenger on board. They are mandatory for children under the age of 6 to wear while the boat is in operation. Choose carefully! Make sure you buy one that has the ability to flip your child over onto their back in the event they are thrown overboard and knocked unconscious.
CPR Certification – In the event of an emergency, would you know what to do? Getting CPR certified is a way to ensure you are prepared. There are many places here in Cape Coral to get CPR certified. You never know when you could help save a life!
Survival Swim Lessons – A moment’s inattention does not have to cost a child their life! ISR Self-Rescue® training is an added layer of protection and is the last line of defense. Having an ISR trained kid does not mean you stop watching your child around water or cease to follow any other layers of protection listed here.