Check Water Sources First

Always thoroughly check water sources (pool, spa, hot tub, etc.) first when a child is missing.

The Basics

  • If a child is missing, immediately check all water sources by carefully walking the perimeter and checking the water surface as well as the bottom.
  • Children who drown can quickly sink to the bottom and appear to be a shadow if only the water surface is scanned.
  • Be thorough but quick. A child’s life depends on swift rescue and resuscitation.
  • Learn CPR to be able to help a drowning victim.

Action Items

  • Enroll in water safety, first aid, and CPR courses to understand how to respond quickly in an aquatic emergency. The American Red Cross offers all three types of classes.

Dive Deeper

Preparing for an Aquatic Emergency

  • Keep a water safety kit adjacent to each pool, hot tub, or other water source.
  • Make sure everyone in or near the pool, hot tub, or other water source knows how to use the equipment in the kit.
  • Check the expiration dates of the items in the kit regularly.

What Should I Include in a Water Safety Kit?

  • First aid kit
  • Scissors to cut hair, clothing, or a pool cover
  • Rescue equipment to reach or throw (e.g. ring buoy, shepherd’s hook)
  • Flotation device
  • Life jackets
  • Address of the location in case you need to tell 9-1-1 where you are located
  • Charged portable telephone to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number
  • If possible, call from a landline instead of a cell phone. Using a landline instantly provides the dispatcher with the exact location of the emergency

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First-Hand Stories

Jack Kreye
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