CHANDLER, Ariz. - Angela M. Clark, owner of Lizard Pools, is a swim safety expert. There are many layers to preventing drownings, so she's sharing some useful tips to anyone going near a pool.
"This is my personal ABCs for water safety," she said. "A is adult supervision. B is barriers and buddies. C is CPR, classes and Coast Guard-approved life jackets. D is devices, as in safety devices."
A: Adult supervision
"Make sure there is a responsible adult who is engaging with any children or anyone who has a condition in the pool," she said. At parties with a lot of adults and kids, designate a pool watcher to wear a name badge on a lanyard.
This prevents any confusion about who is in charge and who is watching those in the pool.
B: Barriers and buddies
Get a pool fence that self-latches and closes on its own.
Also, make sure any toys are always put away out of the water. This prevents kids from wanting to jump in and grab them.
"So I like adding buddies to the barriers," Clark said, "because no one should swim alone. There should always be someone in the water."
C: Classes, CPR and Coast Guard-approved life jackets
Kids can start taking classes as early as two months old.
Swim instruction experts say they should begin as soon as they become mobile.
"Everyone should learn how to swim," said Clark. "If you're going to be near water, learn how to swim."
As for life jackets, always check that they are Coast Guard-approved and that the weight range fits your child.
By law, all pools need the proper drain gates and covers to prevent any suction that can cause a swimmer to get trapped underwater.
There are suction latches that shut quickly should an attached vacuum hose get bumped by a swimmer.
Clark says never have open, exposed drains.