Water Safety

/Water Safety

A Plea to Texas Lawmakers

By |September 15th, 2010|

I received a copy of a powerful letter sent to members of the Texas State Senate and Governor Rick Perry.  The Letter is from a reader whose grandson drowned last year.  Shortly after his death, she discovered that her state is one of the few that have no residential pool safety laws regarding access, and she is on a mission: Her letter is posted here so that other Texas residents can send it in, along with their support, joining Kim in her request that Texas enact legislation to better protect its children from drowning. _________________________ A Plea to Lawmakers: My name is Kim Southerland Jacinto and I was a grandmother. I’m not anymore. Last year my two-year-old grandson, Bryan, wandered next door – through an unlocked front gate – and into the neighbor’s pool.  After a desperate search he was found too late; the 93rd childhood drowning victim in Texas in 2009.  It was August.  There would be 20 more. Going through the obvious grief and pain of a loss so dear, my family is doing its best to move on.  But your grandchildren are supposed to bury you, so it has been hard to get past it all. Grief being what it is, and a grandmother’s love being what it is – I’ve been working hard to figure it out and more than that, actually do something.  I know you are very busy, but please bear with me through the hard things I’ve learned over the year since Bryan’s death: Drowning is the leading cause of death for Children under six years old in Texas. For every child that dies from drowning, another four are hospitalized for aquatic injury – some never fully recover. In 2009, the 113 childhood drownings were a state record; eclipsing the average of 70. 2010 is on track to break the record again. Residential pools and spas account for over half those deaths. The State of Texas has no laws governing access control of residential swimming pools. […]

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Surfing the Hurricane

By |September 1st, 2010|

As the hurricane approaches the East Coast - many parents will be hit with the question, "Surf's up! Can I go?" It's a tough question to say no to. The boy loves surfing and because you live where you do, waves like he sees in surfing magazines don't exist in his world. That's because so many Eastern beaches have to wait for hurricane force winds to drive in enough swell for truly righteous waves. But before you look into your kid's excited eyes and say something silly like, "O.K., but be careful." consider applying a risk practice professionals often use to make decisions about what is a good idea, and what isn't.

El que se Ahoga no parece Ahogarse

By |August 29th, 2010|

Translations: – English -  汉语 - tiếng Việt – Italiano -  Français – Português – română – Deutsch – Suomi – Svenska -  Čeština – Русско -Íslenska – Nederlands – Audio Version (Notes: Spanish translation revised by Luis Miguel Pascual, Escuela Segoviana de Socorrismo ESS Technical Manager Traducción al español revisada por Luis Miguel Pascual, Director Técnico de la Escuela Segoviana [...]

Annegare Sembra Non Annegare

By |August 13th, 2010|

Translations: - English -  汉语 - tiếng Việt - Español - Français - Português - română - Deutsch - Suomi - Svenska -  Čeština - Русско -Íslenska - Audio Version Il nuovo marinaio salta dal [...]

Pool Safety Nets: Layer Zero

By |August 7th, 2010|

Pool nets, unlike fences or alarms or locks, remove the water from the equation. Fences can be climbed - and the water is there. Locks work, but if you forget to latch it, or an older child opens the door, the water is there. Alarms make noise but do not prevent water entry in any way. A properly installed pool net makes water entry impossible for small children.

Drukknun er ekki eins og drukknun

By |July 26th, 2010|

Translations: – English -  汉语 - tiếng Việt – Español – Français – Português – română – Deutsch – Svenska – Čeština – Русско – Audio Version Hann stökk alklæddur út í sjóinn, - skipstjórinn, [...]

Making Pools Safer

By |July 24th, 2010|

What could possibly go wrong?  That question doesn’t get asked often enough. In June of 2002, it was discovered that the suction drain of a hot tub was strong enough to hold a child underwater. Seven-year-old  Virginia Graeme Baker lost her life because a spa manufacturer did not ask the question: what could go wrong?  The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act was signed into law in December of 2007. If it feels like five years was too long to wait for a regulation that makes spas and pools less able to hold children underwater – I agree. The Act calls for safety interlocks and anti-entrapment screens ─ all the things you think would be common sense, but apparently weren’t. Implementation of the law is still being worked out. But here is the thing – the pool in the backyard is yours.   You can assume that designers and manufacturers (and government regulators) thought of everything, or you can start asking your own questions. At the bottom of this post is the list of questions I consider when setting up a pool for safe operation. However, It is best when used as a starting point and an example for your list. As with most things relating to water safety, there are too many variables for absolutes. The hazards that are particular to your own backyard pool or spa are ones that you alone are going to have to manage. It’s hard and perhaps even stressful work, but I promise it will make your family safer. Here’s how to do it: […]

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CPSC Releases Pool Safely Videos

By |July 23rd, 2010|

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, as part of there PoolSafely initiative, has just released a series of excellent videos on YouTube.  I'd like to urge all parents to visit poolsafely.gov,  and youtube.com/poolsafely.  Their advice is [...]

Avoiding and Escaping Rip Currents

By |July 11th, 2010|

At the beach at Cape Canaveral, nineteen-year-old Josh Scurlock looks out at the water.  The larger than normal waves look rough but not too rough so he and a friend go out in them to play.  A strong swimmer – Josh loves the ocean and his new Florida home just five blocks from the beach. It’s Saturday and the sun is out and there is no school and nothing at all is wrong in the world.

Joshua Scurlock in 2003

Having recently moved to Florida from Indiana, he doesn’t notice – or even know how to notice – the rip current that will sweep him out to sea and away from his friend.  Once caught in its pull, his instincts are to head back in.  The land is where safe is and something is pulling him away from it so he fights. Swimming as hard as he can for as long as he can – with his friend on the beach now yelling for help – Josh Scurlock tires and drowns. And though a heroic surfer eventually makes it to him and brings him to shore – he cannot be revived.  Josh never sees twenty. The U.S. Lifesaving Association says a story like that will happen over a hundred times this year on U.S. beaches.  My hope – and of that Josh’s mother, Dawn – is that they will be wrong.  By knowing what to look for, where to swim, and how to escape one should you get caught in a rip current, your summer will be a safer one. […]

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Teaching Kids to Swim

By |July 10th, 2010|

In recent years, I've gotten hundreds of requests for information and advice about when children should start swimming lessons. Though I'd like to think I am a pretty smart guy, my experience in water safety [...]