Water Safety Pie Recipe 


Start with it. It stands for Supervision given by adult caregivers. Stay in Touch! - keep children within arms reach when water is nearby. In most drowning incidents involving young children, parents or other adult caregivers had seen the child less than 5 minutes prior – children can drown quickly. Give them your undivided attention!


Add it. It stands for Aquatic programs for young children. Aquatic programs are more than just swimming lessons. The best programs do three very important things for children and parents: develop a child's swimming skill, train children in safety behaviors, and educate parents on drowning prevention strategies.


Fences, particularly that fence side that separates the house (and young children) from the pool, add to the safety environment around home pools and spas. Fences, alarms and other barriers should be installed where young children are present. Used properly they can prevent a child from entering the pool without adult supervision.


Every adult care giver (parents, grandparents, sitters, etc.) should be CPR certified and capable. This is becomes essential when other safety measures have failed to keep a unsupervised child from the water. It is the last defense against needless injury or drowning. Learning CPR is easy with the right teacher.

Why "Pie"?
Most adults relate to pie. So by talking "pie" we knew we'd get your attention for this very important message. It concerns the safety of your child around your swimming pool and other bodies of water.

Water Safety Pie has four slices: Supervision, Aquatic programs, Fences-alarms-barriers, and Every adult caregiver CPR certified and capable.

Children's adventures can carry them to the pool at a time when parents aren't thinking about the pool or safety and pouf! An unintended submersion that may lead to injury or death occurs.

For example, Florida's current rate of drowning is about 76 young children per year. Estimates are that 5 to 10 times that number have close calls—escaping death anywhere from being unharmed to being left  with an impairment or disability. 

Encourage a child to obtain swimming skills at an early age. Determining the age to start resides with the child and parent. The age that they can actually swim well depends on the individual child, their learning environment and the amount of time spent learning. If your child can swim at age 2, 3, or 4, get that extra measure of safety (and enjoyment) now. Reduce the risk. Don’t wait to start them at age 5 or later!
Train children in safety behaviors even before they are skilled swimmers (e.g. – like 'don't go into the water without an adult', 'don't enter the water to save a drowning person', etc.). This is needed during the time that the young child is enrolled in a program prior to being consistently able to swim to safety.
Educate adult family members and caregivers on drowning prevention strategies so they too can safeguard your child. In time all children can learn to swim and learn how to behave safely around the water. But until then adult caregivers need to diligent in applying other safety strategies as well.
Water Safety Pie is Good for Your Children
‘Making’ water safety pie is good for your children’s safety and your piece of mind. The "pie" has four slices. These ‘slices’ are recognized by national aquatic and safety organizations as being the cornerstones of pool and spa water safety. Several of those organizations are listed at the end of this advisory. Thinking of water safety as a ‘pie’ is an easy way to remember what needs to be done by responsible parents and other adult caregivers.
Don’t Rely on a Single Slice of Pie

Now you may hear statements to the contrary, but these S.A.F.E.-ty pie slices should be considered of equal value. Why? Because each ‘slice’ has, on it's own, thwarted the near injury or death of a young child around water - while one or more of the other safety measures (pie slices) was not in force at the time. So view none of the water safety pie slices as being foolproof in protecting young children. Give your children the whole pie! They are counting on you and other adult caregivers you arrange. Don’t forget to educate new caregivers.

Don’t forget to educate all caregivers in the water safety process - grandparents, nannies, new babysitters, neighbors, and others too. You don’t want injury or drowning on ‘their shift’ in watching your children.

More on the Whole Pie Rationale

Parents should do all that they can for the safety of their young children around water.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission points out that there will always be lapses in attention by adult caregivers that allow drowning and other injuries to occur — still, keeping young children within arms reach and striving for constant eye contact supervision is essential.

Four-sided pool fences are not required under many building codes; fence gates get left open and alarms get turned off - yet, applied properly and diligently, they contribute greatly to safety.

CPR training isn't taken by enough caregivers. It's also been shown to be easily forgotten and often performed improperly, bypassing the desired effect - yet CPR is an important life saving skill that all adult caregivers should acquire and stay current on.

Aquatic education programs that educate children and parents take time to work. Kids (especially children under three) enrolled in a program don’t immediately learn how to swim well enough to save themselves. And they don’t instantly adopt safe behavior around water either.  Learned skills also need to be maintained once acquired.

All parents know their children would be safer if they knew how to swim. So get started so that your children will be up and going at the soonest possible moment they can. Pre-natal classes for parents and ‘parent & me’ classes are beneficial lead-ups for you and your child.

For More Information

Contact the following groups in connection with regarding water safety and your backyard pool or spa:

National Spa & Pool Institute regarding fences, barriers, and alarms pools and other safety topics related to use of pools and spas. Request information. Web site is www.nspi.org Their headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia is (703) 549-0493.
These organizations that can educate adult caregivers on CPR. You’ll feel better knowing what to do.

American Heart Association www.amhrt.org/affili/ or check the white pages of your local phone book. Check also with your community’s adult education program or fire & rescue dept..

American Red Cross www.crossnet.org or check the white pages of your local phone book.

American CPR Training www.americancpr.com

National Swim School Association on aquatic programs for children. Website: www.nationalswimschools.com includes a section of information for parents. 776 – 21st Ave. North, St. Petersburg, FL 33704 phone (727) 896-7946 fax: (727) 893-3933. email: office @nationalswimschools.com

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has information regarding fences, barriers, alarms and other ‘product’ remedies to aid in water safety. They are located in the Washington DC area at 1 800 638-2772.

All groups are on the same side here! While each group may have a different slant to the problem and solution, ALL want to stop needless drowning and promote the safe use of pools and spas.

We hope this information has been educational and heightened awareness about your part in backyard pool safety. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

У 2000 National Swim School Association, Inc.

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