As summer approaches, it's important to keep in mind that unsupervised water play can lead to tragedy. A child can drown in a matter of seconds without making a sound.
Whether at a public pool or at home, here are some tips to keep children safe:
• Learn to swim! Both you and your child should register for swim classes if you don't know how. Sign up at www.lakewoodcity.org/ecatalog.
• Teach children what to do in a water emergency, such as yell for help, throw life-saving equipment in the pool, call 9-1-1, etc.
• Weak or non-swimmers should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
• Never leave a child unsupervised around water. Assign an adult or responsible teen to serve as "water watcher" to maintain constant line of sight and supervision around any water environment, including a pool, tub, toilet or even a bucket of water.
• All adults or older children should learn CPR.
• Mount floatation devices for lifesaving near the pool. Keep toys away from the pool because a young child playing with them could accidently fall into the water.
• If a child is missing, search the pool first.
• Take a cell phone to the pool area. Make sure it's programmed with the non-emergency telephone number to the Lakewood Sheriff's Station 562-623-3500.
• Have a fence around the pool with locking gates to safeguard pets and children.
• Check the pool equipment on a routine basis to make sure everything is working correctly and that no hazards exist.
Visit www.lakewoodcity.org/watersafety for more tips and resources.