The City of Dallas Park and Recreation Department’s Aquatic Services Division wants you and your family to be safe in and around the water and suggests you follow these Red Cross Water Safety Tips
Follow these general water safety tips whenever swimming in any body of water (pools, lakes, ponds, quarries, canals, rivers or oceans):
- Always swim with a buddy; never swim alone.
- Read and obey all rules and posted signs.
- Swim in areas that are supervised by a lifeguard.
- Children or inexperienced swimmers should take extra precautions, such as wearing a lifejacket when around the water.
- Watch out for dangerous “too’s”- too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity
- Set water safety rules for your family based on swimming abilities (for example, inexperienced swimmers should stay in water less than chest deep).
- Be knowledgeable of the water environment that you are in and its potential hazards, such as deep and shallow areas, currents, depth changes, obstructions and where the entry and exit points are located.
- Know how to prevent, recognize and respond to emergencies.
- Use a feet-first entry when entering the water.
- Enter headfirst only when the area is clearly marked for diving and has no obstructions.
- Do not mix alcohol with swimming, diving, or boating. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination, affects your swimming and diving skills and reduces your body’s ability to stay warm.
Watching Children around Water:
- Maintain constant supervision. Watch children around any water (such as pools, rivers, lakes, bathtubs, toilets and even buckets of water), no matter how well your child can swim and no matter how shallow the water.
- Stay within arms reach of an inexperienced swimmer while he or she is in the water.
- Do not rely on substitutes. The use of flotation devices and inflatable toys cannot replace parental supervision.
- Empty kiddie pools immediately after use. Do not leave water in an unattended pool of any kind.
- Teach children to swim by enrolling them in a Red Cross Learn to Swim Course. Your decision to provide your child with early aquatic experiences is a gift that will have lifelong rewards.
- Family members should participate in a Red Cross water safety course. A water safety course encourages safe practices and provides lifelong safety skills.
- Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid.
- Learn to swim – and be sure everyone in the household knows how to swim
- Never leave a child unattended who may gain access to any water. Even a small amount of water can be dangerous to young children.
- Teach your child not to go near the water without you; the pool area is off limits without adult supervision.
- Adult supervision is essential. Adult eyes must be on the child at all times.
- Enclose the pool completely with a fence with vertical bars (so that it’s not easy to climb) that has a self closing, self latching gate. Openings in the fence should be no more that 4 inches wide. The house should not be part of the barrier. If the house is part of the barrier for an existing pool, an additional fence should be installed and the doors and windows leading from the house to the pool should remain locked and be protected with an alarm that produces sounds when the door is unexpectedly opened.
- Post the rules for your pool and enforce them without exception.
- Post depth markers and “No Diving” signs, as appropriate. Use a buoyed line to show where the depth changes from shallow to deep. Limit non-swimmer activity to shallow water.
- Never leave furniture or toys near the fence that would enable a child to climb over the fence.
- Keep toys away from the pool and out of sight when it is not in use. Toys can attract young children into the pool.
- Pool covers should always be completely removed prior to pool use and completely secured when in place.
- Post the emergency telephone number for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system by your telephone. Keep a telephone near the pool or bring a fully charged cordless phone or mobile phone poolside.
- Always keep basic lifesaving equipment by the pool ad know how to use it. A reaching pole, rope, and flotation devices, such as buoys, rescue tubes and life jackets are recommended, a well stocked first aid kit should also be available. Store the safety gear in a consistent, prominent, easily accessed location. A “safety post” may be use.
- Learn Red Cross CPR and first aid; insist that babysitters, grandparents and other who care for your children know these lifesaving skills.
- If a child is missing, check the pool first. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom and surface, as well as the surrounding pool area.
- Keep the pool water clean and clear. Water should be chemically treated and tested regularly, if you cannot see the bottom of the deep end, close the pool. Contact a local pool store or health department for information and instruction.