The safety of our residents is always a number one priority to us. This summer, we asked our property management teams to submit a story and/or safety tips to share with our wider Balfour Beatty community. We'd like to congratulate Fort Stewart Family Housing LifeWorks Coordinator, Genese Lane for being selected as the Balfour Beatty Communities Stand Up for Safety writing contest winner. 

Below Genese shares an eye opening experience and a few safety tips for summer swimming:

The summer months are always fun for outdoor activities, but they can also present hazards. At age three, I loved the ocean, pools and water parks. During a summer visit at my grandmother's house, I went swimming with my cousins at a neighbor's house. As we entered the backyard gate, I saw the pool, ran to the diving board, jumped off and proceeded to sink to the bottom of the pool. I remember bubbles coming towards me and the homeowner's son scooping me up out of the pool. I was not a happy little girl the rest of our pool trip because I was told to sit on the steps.

Families need to be aware of the dangers related to home and recreational areas and take the proper safety precautions to prevent injuries or even death. According to Injury Facts 2015:

  • Drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 4 and is the second leading cause of death for children
  • Most drowning and near-drowning incidents happen when a child falls into a pool or is left alone in the bathtub

Water safety should be practiced with adults, as well. According to an American Red Cross survey, only 56% of adults who say they can swim are able to perform the five critical water-safety skills that could save their lives. Following are a few tips for children and parents:

  • Always watch your child while he or she is bathing, swimming or around water
  • Gather everything needed (towel, bath toys, sunscreen) before the child enters the water; if you must leave the area, take the child with you
  • Empty all buckets, bathtubs and kiddie pools of water immediately after use and store them upside down and out of your child's reach
  • Do not allow your child to play or swim in canals or streams
  • Keep a phone and life preserver with you when near a pool or hot tub in case of emergency
  • Use snug-fitting life jackets instead of floaties, but remember that a child can still drown with a lifejacket on if not carefully watched
  • Become certified in First Aid and CPR
  • Find age-appropriate swim lessons for your child, but keep in mind that lessons do not make your  child "drown-proof"