As swimming pools across Loudoun County open this Memorial Day weekend and people of all ages take to the water to cool off, Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Officials remind residents to be vigilant about pool and water safety. The USA Swimming Foundation reports nearly 90 children younger than 15 drowned in a pool or spa from January 2018 through May 2018, and every year about 19 children drown during the July 4 holiday alone. Loudoun County Fire and Rescue encourages residents to follow these water safety tips and educate your family about water safety before your next trip to the pool.
- Children should only swim when they have permission and being actively supervised at all times with no distractions – put that cellphone down!
- Teach children to obey the posted rules.
- Ensure pools and spas are fenced on all sides with a self-closing and latching gate.
- Drains in pools and spas should have anti-entrapment drain covers.
- Children using air-filled swimming aids should always be supervised by an adult within arm’s reach.
- A U.S. Coast guard approved lifejacket should be worn for water sports such as tubing, skiing or jet skiing. Air-filled aids such as inner tubes, water wings and inflatable rafts are not substitutes for approved lifejackets
- Swimmers should only use recreational items such as slides, diving boards, etc. in approved areas. Avoid non-commercial items such as tree swings, ropes and similar items due to potential unsafe conditions.
- Know CPR. Find a CPR class near you.
- Ask the lifeguard how deep the water is and stay out of water deeper than your swimming skills allow for.
- Always swim with a buddy.
- Never jump or dive unless the lifeguard or an adult says it is okay to do so.
- Don’t eat candy or chew gum when swimming.
- Get out of the water right away if you hear thunder or see lightning.
- When on a boat, everyone needs a seat and his or her own U.S. Coastguard approved lifejacket.
*Source: National Safety Council