"Layers of Protection" by Marlene Bloom- Adapted Aquatics Conference 2012
BABY OTTERANDRE’ DAWSONAQUATIC CENTER PRESENTS LAYERS OF PROTECTION AROUND THEPOOL AND HOME by Marlene Bloom
DON’T LET YOUR CHILD BECOME A STATISTIC. Take action NOW! Only you can help stop drownings NOW!It is time to become educated on the prevention of drowning. Let’s take the first steps on safety so we can all be safe around water.Parents and pool owners all need the knowledge to make the surroundingsaround the pool a safe environment. Here is a comprehensive, concise, andpractical educational tool to assist people in recognizing and respecting the deadly potential of unsafe conditions and behaviors around swimming pools.
LAYERS OF PROTECTIONSafety: A Pool Owner’s Visual GuideThe time you spend watching this presentation could one day save your child’s life.
In many areas, drowning is the leading cause of death in childrenunder the age of five. Can you imagine walking outside to your pooland finding your child face down and lifeless with just the orange ballfloating in the water. In a state of panic and without the correctinformation would you know what to do? Children drown in poolsevery single day. This DVD will guide you through the critical stepsthat every person MUST know.
PARENTAL SUPERVISION• The number one layer of protection is parental supervision. You can never take your eyes off of your children while you are in or around a pool.
Questions about Parental Supervision:•My children know how to swim, whydo I need to watch them?•No matter how old your children are, supervision is alwaysnecessary. At any time they can get a cramp and not be able toreach the side or steps. Always make sure that proper poolrules are being followed so no one gets hurt, and that your childdoes not over extend their ability by trying to do somethingthat is beyond their capabilities. No swimmer should ever swimby themselves even if they happen to be an excellent swimmer.This goes for adults as well as children.
•While I am at work, should mybabysitter be able to supervise ourchild in the water?•We only recommend a babysitter supervising a child in thewater if your babysitter has taken a CPR course, knowshow to swim, has no fear of the water, understands everyarea of the DVD, and has access to a telephone to be usedin emergencies only. You really have to trust your child’scaretaker to be able to allow him/her to supervise yourchild in the water. You need to discuss this participationwith the caretaker so you know he/she feels comfortablein this position and review the pool rules that need to befollowed. It is also recommended that when the timecomes, the sitter review the rules with your child beforethey go swimming.
•How should I handle a situation whenmy child wants a friend to come overto go swimming?•The most important issue to consider is, Do you want to beresponsible for this child? If you do, then you need to talk tothe parent of the other child. Ask what swimming skills theirchild is capable of performing. Are they comfortable in any partof the pool. Always ask, “If their child fell into the water wouldthey know what to do?” If you are not sure about beingcompletely responsible for that child, invite the parent to joinyou so they can keep an eye on their own child. Always explainthe pool rules to your guests so they know what type of behavioryou expect from them. This will usually make the experience runsmoothly and everyone will be more comfortable.
•My older child is an excellent swimmerand very responsible. Should I allowhim to be in charge of his/her youngersibling?•We do not recommend leaving that type ofresponsibility on another child. It is difficultenough for adults to pay attention, you can notexpect another child who is having fun in thepool to keep his/her eyes on a sibling.
It is important to have a fence around your pool. It will only help if you keep the gate closed. Having furniture next to your pool fence is only an invitation to a small child to climb over. This has occurred more than you realize.
4. Questions concerning Pool Fences:•What type of pool fence should I purchase? – There arecontinual improvements in technology on fences that are in themarket place. Pool fences are constructed of mesh materialsupported by aluminum poles. Check your local phone book orthe internet for licensed pool fence dealers in your area.• Where can I find a contractor to give me a price on apool? a fence? – You can call your local pool builders or poolsupply companies if you do not have a pool fence company in yourarea. If they do not deal with pool fences; they will be able toguide you in the right direction. It might be wise to do someresearch on the internet to learn everything you need to learnabout fences.
Questions about telephones:•Why is it important not to talk on the telephone while I am watching mychildren swimming in the pool? - Talking on the telephone is a distraction awayfrom your children. The phone should only be used for emergencies only. Save yourconversations for another time. Focus on what is going on in the pool at all times.•What should I do if the phone is ringing? – Please do not answer it. Mostphones have an answering machine. Let the answering machine take the call.•I do not have a portable phone, what should I do? – Your phone company caninstall a phone jack outside. Have a phone that you can bring out and plug into theoutside jack.•Is it alright to use a cellular phone? – If you do not have a land phone that youcan use, then use a cell phone. The only problem with a cell phone is that you canlose contact or your battery might lose its charge.•The pool that my family uses is the community pool in our complex. Whatshould I do? –Your complex should provide a phone that can be used foremergencies only. If they do not provide a phone, then your cell phone would bethe best alternative.
4. Drain CoversOld drain covers should be replaced withthe required safer drain covers.
SHEPERD’S HOOKThe Shepherds hook is an important tool that every pool owner needs to have near the pool. You never want to enter the water to make a rescue unless you are a lifeguard.
5.How do I use a Shepherds hookand other safety devices?A Shepherds hook is used while you are standing on the deck ofthe pool extending the hook around the victim so you can pull theperson to the side of the pool. Then you are able to pull them out ofthe water. This prevents anyone from entering the water andtaking the chance of becoming a victim themselves. A lifepreserver can also be used if the person is conscious, but in troublein the water. You throw the preserver to the person to grab whileyou hold onto the attached rope, then you can pull the person tosafety.
7. Questions about Door Alarms:•Why is it necessary to have a door alarm that beeps? – There areseveral reasons to have a door alarm that sounds every time the dooris opened and closed. Most important, the alarm will alert you everytime a child or adult opens a door. Hearing this beep should be yoursignal to know where your children are located. The first place tolook is the pool. Secondly, if you are home alone and you hear thedoor being opened, it will indicate to you that an intruder has enteredyour home.•Where can I purchase a door alarm? – If you already have analarm system in your home make sure that contacts are on all doorsand windows, also call your alarm company to have them set the chimeor look in your alarm manual. You can set your system to activate thedoor chime. If you do NOT have an alarm system, you can purchasedoor and window alarms from Radio Shack and many other companiesthat can be found on the internet.•I am hearing impaired, what can I use since I cannot hear analarm? – You can have a flasher installed that will indicate there is aproblem that needs to be attended too.
6. WATER LEVELDid you know that the water level in a pool plays a veryimportant role in the difference of a child being able to save themselves? 1. The higher the level the easier it is for a child to reach the top. 2. It is important to keep the water level high all year long.
2 very important questions….1. If your child fell into the water would they know what to do?2. Would you know what to do if someone fell into the water?
Questions about CPR Classes:1.Where can I find a CPR class? – Check with your local firedepartment and/or hospitals. They usually offer CPR classes. Ifthey do not, check with your local American Red Cross. We canrecommend private certified instructors in our local area (BrowardCounty, Florida)2.How often should I take CPR classes? – Your certificate saysevery 2 years. We recommend every year. CPR methods areconstantly changing, so to keep your loved ones safe, you should beaware of the latest techniques.3.What type of CPR class should I take? – We recommend youlearn all 3 age levels for CPR. With this type of training you shouldbe able to handle any situation that might arise.4.How soon should I sign up for a CPR class? – IMMEDIATELY –DO NOT WAIT!5.How much are CPR classes? – You need to call your local hospital,fire department and/or the American Red Cross for pricinginformation
8. SWIMMING LESSONS With proper instruction fromadapted aquatics, children can learn and must learn water survival.What a wonderful social skill you can present to these children.
You “Otter” be Safe Around the WaterThe do’s and dont’s of being around or in a pool. Our objective isto make swimming a fun and safe environment. Let’s worktogether to make a drowning incident a thing of the past. 10 Safety Pool Rules HOW MANY RULES YOU CAN REMEMBER?
1. DO NOT RUN ON THE DECK.REMEMBER TO ALWAYS WALK AROUND THE POOLA wet deck can cause a slip and fall.
2. Being a good swim buddymeans never pushing your friends in or into the pool.
3. Don’t leave toys in the pool.• When you are finished playing in the pool, remove all of your toys.• A small child might see the toy in the water and try to enter the pool to reach for the toy.• Your toys can get ruined from staying in the water.
4. No horseplay or rough play in the water.• You never want to hurt your friends.• Remember safe pool rules.• Play nicely in the water.
5. Never swim alone.• Parental guidance is the most important safety rule around the pool.• Even good swimmers do not swim by themselves. This goes for adults too.• Having a buddy system is a safe way to swim but you still need to have an adult watching.
6. Take a break.• Swimming is fun and also hard work, so remember to take a break.• Remember to have something to drink.• Have a healthy snack.• Rest before entering the water again.
7. USE SUNSCREENKnow the importance of using sunscreen. Don’t letyour fun days turn into tragic days in the future. Beconcerned about skin cancer.
7. Use sunscreen.• When going out into the sun and swimming, always put on sunscreen.• You can start to get a sunburn after being in the sun for only 20 minutes.• You can get a sunburn by sitting in the shade near the water. It is caused from the reflection of the sun off of the water.
8. Be careful where and how you jump into the water. The proper way to jump into the pool is to: 1. Have your toes over the edge of the pool so you can push off without slipping. 2. Jump straight out away from the wall.• Never jump over the steps or the bench area in a pool.• Never jump over people.• Never jump near other people.• Never run and jump into the water. You might slip and hurt yourself.• Never turn in the air while jumping into the pool.• Never grab for the side of the pool while you are jumping.
9. “Ready, Set, Go”• If you are swimming off of the wall or steps to an adult, please make sure you tell them that you want to swim to them.• Wait for the adult to say, “Ready, Set, Go”
10. ALWAYS REMEMBER….• “IF YOU FALL INTO THE WATER – • TURN • KICK • REACH
HOT TUBSWhen your hot tub is not in use you must keep it securely closed and locked.
Always remember the following hazards: 1. Tubs, toilets and buckets2. Spas and pool covers used properly 3. Pool toys left in pool 4. Above ground pools – remove ladder when not in use.
5. Safety equipment should be within 4 feet of the pool. 6. Know how to turn pump off. 7. Take all swimmers out of thepool to answer a door bell or check something in the kitchen. 8. Make sure pool fence is closed every time you leave the pool.
9. Know CPR10. Don’t let distractions interruptwatching your children in the pool(changing or feeding the baby, the dog, telephone ringing, etc.). 11. List all emergency numbers.
Questions concerning the Weather:•What should swimmers do if they hear thunder or see lightening?•As soon as you hear thunder or seelightening, exit the water immediately.You must do this even if the sun isshinning in your location because lighteningcan travel miles away from the storm.Lightening will strike water quicker thenland.
Questions about pool equipmentcare (pumps, drain covers,chemicals, etc.):1.Can I care for my own pool or should I have a poolservice? – That is a personal decision. To care for yourown pool, you need to understand how your pump systemworks, how to clean your pool (water chemical levels,sweep the pool, vacuum the pool and clean tiles). Youneed a safe place to store all chemicals out of thereach of children, how to use the chemicals properly,and how often chemicals need to be used. You can takea sample of the water to your local pool service storeand they can analyze the water giving you the properchemical for caring for your pool. If you do not havethe time to devote to the proper care of your pool, thenwe highly suggest you hire a pool service.
2. What type of service can Iexpect from a pool servicecompany?You can contract for different types ofservice. The pool company can be hired tobe responsible for just the chemicals inyour pool or they can be responsible forcleaning the pool, plus adding chemicals.
3. How often should the pool becleaned?Residential pools should be cleaned by thepool service at least once a week. Dependingon the usage of your pool, will determine howoften you should contract the company toservice your pool. Be very clear with thepool service company that the pool fencegate must be closed when they arefinished. Inform them that one time it isleft open; their service will be terminatedimmediately.
4. Where should my cleaning equipmentand safety equipment be stored?Pool chemicals should be locked up out of the reach ofchildren. Pool cleaning equipment should be stored upoff of the ground in a safe location.Safety equipment should be within 4 feet of the pool,especially the Shephard’s hook and life preserver.
5. Why is it important to know how toturn off the pool pump even though Ihave a pool service?If someone gets their HAIR, ARM or LEG caught in the drain, the time ittakes you to reach the pump and turn it off means the differencebetween life and death. No matter how strong you are it is impossible topull someone out of the drain because the force of the water going intothe drain is too strong. You must turn off the pump to release theperson. Everyone in the family should be taught how to turn the pumpoff, even children.Today there are required safety drains. Call a pool service company tomake sure your drain cover is the correct cover and installed properly.
6. Should a lock be placed on the pumpcontrol box so children can not play withthe controls?Because of the dangers of someone becoming caught inthe suction of the drain cover, you need to be able toturn off the pump immediately. If the control box islocked, then you have created another barrier in the timeyou can turn the pump off and release the persontrapped in the drain.
7. Do I still need to know how to care formy pool even though I have a pool service?It is wise to have the knowledge about how to care for yourpool. You need to test the chemicals in the water everyfew days. If the chemicals are not correct, you need toknow how to add additional chemicals or call your serviceto come out and add the chemicals. Check your contractbecause they might charge you extra for the additionaltrips to your home.
9. Are there certain times of the year whenmore chemicals are needed?Yes, during rainy seasons and summer time when the pool isbeing used more and the sun evaporates the water andchemicals. If you are using a pool service you should askthem to leave an extra container of chlorine so you can addthe chlorine when needed. Only keep the extra chlorinearound if you have a safe place to store the chemicals. Askyour pool service the proper way to administer thechemicals.
Water is empowering to special needs children.Give them a safe and positive experience.