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Take time to ensure you and your children know what to do in an emergency around the pool or at the beach. Accidental drowning causes more than 750 child deaths a year—more than 60 percent of them are children younger than 5.
After tragically losing their 6-year-old son in a pool drain entrapment in 2007, Karen and Brian Cohn of Greenwich founded the ZAC Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to educating the public on the importance of water safety by developing effective programming for children, funding advocacy education, and enhancing pool safety legislation.
Since its inception in 2008, the ZAC Foundation has developed ZAC Camps for kids that bring in Olympic swimmers like Rowdy Gaines and Janet Evans to teach swimming lessons and other hands-on activities that stress the importance of water safety.
Tips for Families
• Never dive in to water less than nine feet deep.• If you find a drain cover that is loose, broken or missing, notify the owner oroperator and do not enter the pool or hot tub.• Keep gates to the pool area latched.
• Point out the lifesaving equipment by the pool to everyone when you enter thepool area.• Tie up long hair securely to protect from drain entanglement.• Create a water safety plan as a family, similar to your family’s fire emergencyplan.
Tips for Parents
• Teach your children to swim, tread water, float and get out of the pool.
• Teach children to stay away from pool and hot tub drains and drain covers.
• For those who are not strong swimmers, use coast guard-approved flotation devices.
• If you’re in a group, appoint a designated “water watcher.”
• While supervising, never take your eyes off of children in the pool.
• Take a class in First Aid and CPR (for infants, children, and adults).
• Explain to your child that they should never climb trees to get over fences.
• Talk with your children and explain that they should never be in or near thewater without eye-to-eye contact from adults.
For more information about the ZAC Foundation, visit thezacfoundation.com.
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