MINNEAPOLIS- (December 7, 2016)- Winter is approaching fast and many are turning to vacation plans - for those in cold environments that means beaches, cruises and resorts in warm climates. As you make your plans don't forget about safety and the importance of staying vigilant around water. Never take a vacation from safety. Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation would like to remind parents about the important steps that we should take to keep children safe around pools, spas and open bodies of water.


• Wear life jackets and keep proper lifesaving devices nearby. When near the water, remind children and those with the inability to swim that they need to be wearing life jackets at all times.

• Teach swimming and lifesaving skills. Make sure your children know how to swim, float, tread water and get in and out of the pool safely. Take classes in First Aid and CPR.

• Avoid dangerous drains. If you spot a loose, missing or broken drain cover, report it to the pool operator or hotel management immediately. Do not swim in a dangerous pool. Even in safe pools with safe drains, tie up long hair or secure with a swim cap and warn children to stay away from drains or other openings.

• Be beach smart. Swimming in surf is not the same as swimming in a pool as currents can change quickly and can cause fatigue in swimmers. Stay close to shore, away from piers and jetties, and know the meaning of the warnings represented by colored beach flags. When in doubt, don’t go out.

• Be vigilant. Make sure an adult is watching children in the pool, spa or at the beach at all times.

Abbey's Hope strongly recommends that parents share water supervision responsibilities with other parents while on vacation, which is why the foundation created the "Water Watchdog Tag" system. The supervising adult wears the "Water Watchdog Tag" until he or she passes the responsibility and the tag on to the next adult. The adult wearing the tag pledges:

• To maintain constant visual contact with the children in the designated group (even if a life guard is present).

• Not to drink alcohol, talk on the phone, socialize or read while watching children. • To keep a phone near the water for emergency purposes.

• Remain by the water until relieved by a new Water Watchdog. To receive a free Water Watchdog tag, go AbbeysHope.org and sign the pledge to protect children.

Together, with the proper education and safety precautions, we can prevent the preventable Learn more at abbeyshope.org.

The Dragonfly Story

Excerpted from the eulogy at Abbey Taylor's Celebration of Life Service

Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

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Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.

More water safety tips