The Katchakid Code
Enjoy the Water and Be Safe!
- Never - not even for a second, leave children alone around open standing water of any kind - Swimming Pool, Spa, Pond, River etc…
- Always know where your children are.
- Never rely entirely on a safety device or product - nothing can replace constant adult supervision.
- Never allow your children to swim alone or without an adult present.
- Check the pool first when your child is missing.
- Never think or assume that someone is watching your child unless you have designated an adult to watch the water.
- When entertaining or using the pool always designate an adult, who can swim, to watch the water at all times. If available in your area hire a lifeguard.
- Maintain your pool. Keep the water clear and clean so visibility is kept at a maximum.
- Do not swim in thunderstorms or any inclement weather.
- Position all swimming pool jets in such a way that any floating objects will end up in the shallow end of the pool close to the steps or ladder.
- Remove all toys and floating objects from the pool when it is not in use.
- Never allow bikes and 'rideable' toys in the pool area.
- Have a telephone jack installed by the pool. Never go to answer a door or telephone bell while your children are swimming or your pool is unprotected.
- Buy and have on hand equipment approved by the US Coast Guard - life preservers, life jackets, shepherd's crook etc...
- If you have a pool safety fence - do not leave chairs, ladders or other objects near the pool that would allow a child to climb up and over. Make sure all fence gates have self-closing latches.
- Make sure your child understands how jumping or diving into water can result in injury. Know the depth of the water and the location of underwater hazards before permitting children to jump or dive.
- Teach your children to swim and cope with all conditions of all types of water - e.g. depth, water temperature, tides, currents, and weather.
- Use approved personal flotation devices whenever on a boat or fishing, and while playing near a river, lake, or ocean.
- Teach children not to walk, skate, or ride on weak or thawing ice on any body of water.
- Teach your child to never attempt to rescue a pet.
- Inform your child of the methods to obtain help.
- Support efforts in your state to pass legislation to establish basic safety requirements for all swimming areas both public and private.
- Learn CPR and support the inclusion of CPR training in school.
- Counsel children especially teenagers about the dangers of alcohol and drug consumption during water recreational activities.
- Remove all water from containers, such as pails and 5-gallon buckets, immediately after use and put containers away.
- Do not leave children unattended in the bathroom. Never leave a child unattended in the bath. Keep toilet lids closed and locked and bath plugs out of reach.
- Make sure children's caregivers and supervisors know all the safety precautions and are fully trained in CPR.
The Tragic Reality
Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of injury death in the USA in the under 15's.
In 18 of the 50 states, drowning was the number one cause of unintentional injury death of children 1 to 4 years of age.
67% of all drownings occur in backyard spas, pools and bathtubs.
The majority of drowning incidents have occurred while the child's supervisor assumed the child was safely indoors.
A child can drown in less time than it takes to answer the telephone.
A child can drown in as little as 5-8cm of water in as little as 30 seconds.
Children less than 5 years of age and young people aged 15 to 24 years have the highest drowning rates.
For every child who drowns, four children are hospitalized for near-drowning.
One third of those removed from water after a near-drowning are comatose on admission, survive but suffer significant neurological impairment. Irreversible brain damage may occur after 3-5 minutes.
The annual cost of care per year in a chronic care facility for an impaired survivor of a near-drowning event is approximately
As reported by the following organizations -
The American Academy of Pediatrics - Committee on injury and poison prevention.
World Health Organization Guidelines for safe recreational water environments - Vol 2 swimming pools, spas and similar recreational water facilities.