Swimming is the most popular summer activity and if you have a pool or spa, your backyard just may be this summer's most popular retreat for friends, neighbors and all the children that come with them. Adding as many water safety steps as possible is the best way to assure a safer and fun experience this summer.
Additional tips to stay pool-safe this summer:
* Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment.
* If a child is missing, look for them first in the pool or spa.
* Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
* The National Drowning Prevention Alliance (www.NDPA.org) recommends that a "water watcher" be designated for safety when children are in the pool, to maintain eye-to-eye contact at all times.
* Toys or floating chlorine dispensers that look like toys should never be left in the pool area.
* Be aware of anything a child could use to climb up on and over a pool fence.
* Keep rescue equipment, like a shepherd's hook, near the pool.
* If your child is invited to a friend's pool don't expect the other parent to be as cautious as you may be. Offer to go with them to be another set of eyes on the pool.
* Brush up on your own swimming skills. You never know when you may have to rescue someone who is drowning, so make sure you know the proper way to help without harming yourself.
* Learn CPR. You can be the one to administer CPR to someone in need while waiting on an ambulance to arrive. You can sign up for CPR classes at The Red Cross or your local YMCA. It's a lifesaving skill you'll be glad to have.