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When we first started gathering material for our Special Homeowner’s Drowning Prevention Edition,

(due out later this month), we thought that the most valuable message on drowning prevention, and perhaps the most wise, would come from people who have lost a loved one to drowning.

Unfortunately it was all too easy to find a large group of people that grows daily. The group is called Families United — A collection of smaller organizations that have come together for the worst possible reason: the loss or near loss of someone they love to a water tragedy.

Families United is made up of a core of 75 people, representing 24 different organizations that promote specific aspects of water safety.

Their biggest goal is to prevent any other families from experiencing what they have.

“We are members of a club, and we give each other a lot of support, but we don’t want anyone else in our club,” Mike Fugate, who lost a teenage son to drowning, said. When we spoke with the families belonging to the Families United Group we asked for their assistance in creating just a short checklist on safety measures that a homeowner with a backyard pool can take to better safeguard against drowning hazards. Of course they we all too happy to contribute and the list below is from our talk.

We do hope that you will copy this page and give it to your homeowner clients so that they will put drowning prevention on the top of their to do list.

Drowning Prevention

• When a child is missing...

CHECK ANY POOLS FIRST!

• If there is a party...

ASIGN A WATER WATCHER!

• If your neighbor has a pool...

YOUR CHILD CAN GET IN IT!

• Do not wait for splashing, drowning is silent.

• Toddlers can climb ladders and get into aboveground pools.

• Children crawl through doggie doors and get into pools.

• Pool covers come off and ONLY you can assure that it is on.

• Swim lessons help prevent drowning but should not replace adult supervision.

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