As a pool owner, you want to be extremely vigilant about safety, especially when it comes to caring for the younger members of your family social network. Even if you don’t want to get into teaching water safety classes regularly, you can better equip yourself and those you care about by going through some basic pool safety tips before each swimming session. Some very easy-to-use resources are freely available from the organization Stop Drowning Now. One way to address the 3 safety topics is through the Safer 3 Story Book and Meet the Safer 3 Coloring Sheet — both available to Community Members of Stop Drowning Now. As we discussed in Part 1, these 3 topics include Safer People, Safer Water, and Safer Response. Today we’ll focus on the latter areas of safety.
Safer water begins by evaluating the risks associated with any body of water, natural or otherwise, including everything from bath tubs to oceans. Reducing risks will mean something a little different in each specific venue. From erecting safety barriers to providing personal floatation devices (or PFDs), the risks associated with a given body of water can be reduced.
Kid-friendly resources available from “Safer 3” include the “Pool Has a Fence” Song, “Bodies of Water” Chant, and Open Water Scenario Cards, with Sammy Starfish starring as the mascot for “safer water.” A more streamlined water safety checklist is also available, even without registering as a Community Member. The “Safer Water” Cheer is another resource you might like:
Risky pool? Get a fence and gate,
Safer Water is really great.
Barriers mean I must stay out.
If I need some help, I’ll give a shout.
Don’t swim alone should be my rule!
So I need a grown-up by the pool.
It’s up to me to do my part,
Sammy says, be Water Smart!
In addition to safer people and safer water, safer response is an important part of drowning prevention. As much as we want to avoid potentially deadly risks, we also need to know how to respond when something happens. From creating an emergency action plan to learning various emergency response techniques such as CPR and first aid, one of the main goals here is to prevent a drowning event from potentially becoming a double drowning. A huge push here is to have a (charged) phone available and accessible at all times.
The Safer Response mascot is Gibert Guppy, and online resources include a “Safer Response” Cheer and “Reach or Throw or No” Sorting Cards. The “It’s An Emergency” page also helps kids practice dialing and reciting the emergency phone number 9-1-1.
Safer 3 Celebrations
Once your students have demonstrated a mastery of the Safer 3 content, you may choose to have a little ceremony in which to recite the Safer 3 Pledge:
I pledge to you with all my heart,
To do my best and do my part,
Whenever water is near at hand,
Follow the rules and have a plan,
I‛ll always remember the Safer 3,
And work to be a Safer Me”!
You could then reward each of them with a “Celebration Student Badge” — followed, of course, by a pool party! Added resources for your Safer 3 celebration can include printable Safer 3 water bottle labels and headbands.
One way that your “graduates” can both demonstrate mastery and give back to their own community is to lead added Safer 3 classes for others! Printable posters, social media resources, parent letters, and more are available to Stop Drowning Now Community Members.
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