In 2002, Nancy Baker experienced her worst nightmare. Her seven year old daughter, Virginia Graeme Baker became trapped by the suction of a hot tub drain and was unable to pull free. The efforts of friends and family were unsuccessful, and Virginia lost her life due to a defective drain cover. Her mother has since dedicated her life to educating others about pool and spa safety and hopes to raise awareness for the cause.
No one should have to experience what Nancy Baker did on that fateful day. Having a spa or pool is both a privilege and a responsibility. Appropriate precautions should be taken to ensure that your loved ones remain safe and secure.
- Pay Attention: Keep an eye on children at all times. Never leave any child unattended, and children under the age of 5 should always be within arm’s reach.
- Educate: Teach your children proper water safety. Enroll them in swimming lessons and make sure you are equipped with proper swim knowledge as well. If you or your loved ones will be using a spa or swimming pool, know how to enjoy them in a safe manner.
- Establish Communication: Have a telephone located close by in case of emergency so that communication is available at any time.
- Proper Certifications: Learn CPR in case it becomes needed and know how to use it on both children and adults. You never know who might need this live-saving action!
- Security: Install a fence and self-latching gate around your pool. Furthermore, a pool/gate alarm that alerts you if someone is near the water can be beneficial, and a pool cover can provide security as well.
- Provide Rules: Establish rules that will keep your loved ones safe. This might include no diving, no running, or staying away from drain covers.
- Check Drain and Suction Covers: Don’t allow anyone in the spa or pool if you notice that covers are damaged or missing. Replace these immediately and carry on with your summer fun!
- Have a First Aid Kit: Having this nearby will prove important if someone becomes injured while using the spa/pool. It is also important to have a pair of scissors in close proximity in case someone becomes trapped and you need to cut away whatever clothing is trapped.
Practice proper safety precautions and your friends and loved ones can enjoy your spa or swimming pool for many years to come!