This week, tragedy struck the family of Olympian Bode Miller. His young daughter Emmy, just 19-months-old, died in a backyard pool. The heartbreaking news is a reminder to everyone of the potential perils of backyard swimming pools.
That's why I'm sharing this video of Jim Spears, a swim safety expert, who can give parents essential advice that could mean the difference between life and death for their kids. “Parents first off need to know that supervision is their priority, they can’t be on an iPad when they’re watching their child,” said Spears. “They need to pay attention to their children, have their eyes on the child at all times.”
If you have a pool or young children, I highly encourage you to check out the Swimming Safety Tips from the American Red Cross. It's a great resource and through their website you can even enroll your kids in swim classes, or take CPR courses, home pool safety courses, water safety courses, and more.
Some of their most important tips:
- Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
- If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.