Treading water: precautions you can take to keep pets, kids safe this summer

Treading water: precautions you can take to keep pets, kids safe this summer
A lane divider sits on wall of an Amarillo public pool; Source: KFDA
A 'coastguard approved' sticker shows the test grade of a kid's life jacket; Source: KFDA
A 'coastguard approved' sticker shows the test grade of a kid's life jacket; Source: KFDA
A public pool sign warns no kid under 12 can enter without an adult present; Source: KFDA
A public pool sign warns no kid under 12 can enter without an adult present; Source: KFDA
A novelty signs invites visitors to have a good time around the pool; Source: KFDA
A novelty signs invites visitors to have a good time around the pool; Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - With summer just around the river bend, precautions need to be put in place to make sure your kids and pets are safe while in the water.

"Pool safety is very important for everybody," said recreation supervisor for the City of Amarillo Parks & Rec. Department Shelley Gallagher. "It's not just children that drown, adults can drown as well."

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Kids need to be watched when around any body of water.

So far, in 2018 there have been 19 fatal drownings involving children 17 years-old or younger.

The city of Amarillo says designating a 'water watcher' can potentially help prevent these drownings.

"Whether it's a birthday party, or family picnic or anything like that around the water, there's one person that's designated to watch the children at a specific time," said Gallagher. "They can switch off every 10 or 15 minutes, or every half-hour."

Constant eyes are great, but certain steps need to be carried out in order to make sure all children are wearing a suitable life jacket.

"The life jackets are nice," said Gallagher. "Coastguard approved life jackets are nice because [kids] can move their arms, and swim, and do strokes. [They] can learn to swim in them [while] still keep[ing] their heads above water."

If you'd like to go that extra level this summer to make sure everybody is safe, CPR classes are available through the Red Cross. You can learn life-saving procedures for both your kids and your pet.

If you'd like more information on how to sign up visit the Red Cross' website.

Needing to be constantly watched can be said about your pets too.

In a recent viral video, a dog can be seen helping its canine pal after he fell in to a pool and did not know how to get out.

"[Pets] need to know where they can access an area to get out of the swimming pool, otherwise they will start panic swimming," said retail manager for Texas Blue Lake Pools Bryan George.

Special floats and protections are available for pets as well.

A pool still needs to be secure for both kids and pets. An above ground pool should have the ladder put up, and in-ground pools need to have some form of warning signal.

"If you don't have a fence directly around your pool area, you would want to have window or door alarms on all of the windows and doors that face in to the backyard," said George. "[That way], they can alert an adult, 'hey someone is going in to the backyard'."

Precautions can be taken for adults too.

Having a good light can prevent an accident at night.

"If you're going to be entertaining at night, it's a good idea to have those lights on and have those areas marked where the swimming pool is," said George. "You don't want [to have] any fall in to a pool if they don't know it's there."

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