Water Safety/Drowning Prevention
Install four-sided fences with self-latching gates.
Use pool/door/child alarms.
Wear life vests with U.S. Coast Guard-approved labels.
- As your child grows, the lifejacket needs to meet their new weight. Get a new lifejacket if there are rips and tears or fraying of the straps. Look for the words "U.S. Coast Guard Approved" or "USCG Approved on the jacket."
- Any items filled with air (arm floaties, rafts, etc.) are considered toys and not a life saving device.
Insist on adult, non-distracted Water Watchers.
- Children drown silently, so designate a Water Watcher to watch children in and around all water. A Water Watcher Tag is used to designate responsible adults to watch the water when you have a party at the pool, lake or beach. At social gatherings, 10-15 minute shifts are recommended for Water Watchers. During that time, Water Watchers should not be distracted by conversations, cell phones, reading, etc.
- Always check the pool first for missing kids...seconds count!
- Send an email to Cook Children's representative to request your Water Watcher tags.
Take family CPR lessons.
- Learning CPR can be the difference between life and death while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.
- Check your local Red Cross and YMCA for classes.
Schedule water safety and swim lessons.
- Drownings and near drownings are 8 times more likely to happen to children that don't know how to swim or are being supervised by adults that don't know how to swim.
- Learning how to swim and practicing proper water safety techniques are crucial but children that know how to swim are still at risk.
- Need help finding swim lessons? Check out this list of providers in the Tarrant County area. If you're not in Tarrant County, you may want to contact your local YMCA, Red Cross, or parks and recreation center for information in your area.
Create and follow all pool rules.
- If you do own a private swimming pool, you should be especially careful because it only takes a few moments for a child to drown. So additional precautions should be observed in private pools.
Update pool drains and cleaning systems.
- New legislation mandated changes throughout the pool and spa industry. Main drain covers were designed and approved, and later redesigned and reapproved, to reduce the likelihood of being suctioned or stuck to the drain cover. All public pool and spas in the U.S. must use VGB compliant drain covers.