According to the Center for Disease Control, unintentional drowning claims the lives of an estimated 3,882 people each year in the United States, averaging 10 deaths per day. Drowning remains the second leading cause of death among ages 1-14, and for every one child that dies from drowning, another five require emergency room attention. These tragedies are often preventable with parental attention and basic water safety education. The Houston Apartment Association urges residents and their children to learn pool safety practices and CPR. Help your family stay safe by reviewing the water safety information and resources available on this page.
Water Safety Tips
- Never leave children near water without adult supervision, and do not allow children to swim alone.
- Children should always be within an arm’s distance of a supervising adult in the water
- Assign an adult as “water watcher” – the person committed to supervising the pool area
- Paddling pools are just as dangerous - a single inch of water covering a small child’s mouth and nose can cause drowning
- Get Trained! Enroll children in swim lessons and have adults learn CPR
- Always secure access to swimming pools. All apartment pools have fences and self-closing and latching gates preventing children from entering the pool area unattended – notify management immediately if they are not in a working order
- Learn how to use the safety devices – all apartment pools are equipped with devices intended to prevent death or injury. These items include a shepherd’s hook and a reaching pole, a throwing rope, and a ring buoy. If any of these devices are missing or in disrepair, please notify management immediately.
- Be a good neighbor, if you see any unattended children at the community pool, urge them to leave the pool area and report the incident to the manager immediately.
- Pool decks can be slippery! Watch out for muddy, wet, or slippery areas around pool where children like to run and play.
First Aid Response for Drowning
- Get medical help immediately – call 911 as soon as possible
- Check for breathing and responsiveness – Place ear near the nose or mouth of the child, and see if you feel air. See whether the child’s chest is moving, and call name to check for responsiveness.
- If there is no sign of breathing start CPR immediately, the sooner an individual receives CPR the better their chances are for survival
- Place individual on their back on a firm surface, and immediately begin rescue breathing.
- If you suspect a head injury, move the victims entire body where their head, neck, spine and hips are aligned
- Tilt the head back and lift the chin. In case of head injury do not tilt the head, just open the jaw
- Pinch the victims nose and place your mouth over theirs tightly
- Blow into individual’s mouth for one second. There chest should rise. Repeat a second time
- Begin chest compressions
CPR Training Resources Houston
Apartment Splash Program with the Greater Houston YMCA
Each year, HAA partners with the Greater Houston YMCA to provide swim lessons to children in apartment communities through their Apartment Splash Water Wise program. Residents who live at properties that participate in the Apartment Splash program receive one week of on-site swim lessons for children with trained lifeguards.
One component of the program teaches children to swim, float and survive in the water and the other component is geared toward teaching parents to watch their children in the water. Participants also receive water safety handouts and giveaways.
Encourage your apartment community to register and participate!