Safety Check

Shortly after the July issue was published, I received an e-mail from a reader who had a strong opinion about our cover. As you may recall, the cover featured a playset, a decorative pond and Wilson Kilmer, the very photogenic young son of AQUA's managing editor.

The reader was concerned that we were sending an unsafe message by showing a picture of a child near water (you can read the letter in Feedback next month).

I can certainly understand that point of view. It's never a good idea for a child to be unattended near water, whether it's a mop bucket, a river or a swimming pool. And, of course, at the photo shoot Wilson was surrounded by adults — including his father — who were all watching his every move.

It got me to thinking about the elements of safety. As we all know, even with layers of safety products — fences, alarms, covers, locks — kids can sometimes still get into places that they shouldn't be. The more layers of safety, the better. But the most important layer of safety is supervision and involvement by adults.

It's great to use tools for supervision; alarms, barriers and other devices can make the task of supervision easier and more foolproof. But adults shouldn't slip into a false sense of security because they have purchased all the right equipment. Adults must also be involved — and that means teaching kids about safety: Make sure they have swimming lessons. Make sure they know how dangerous water is. Make sure they know what to do in an emergency.

Of course there should be layers of safety products around the pool, but that's not going to help if the child is near a river or a lake or someone else's pool. However if kids carry safety with them, the likelihood of an accident is diminished.

So I think our readers are smart enough to realize that beyond the borders of the July cover photo stood vigilant adults who were steps away had Wilson disregarded instructions to stay a safe distance from the pond. They were also ready to intervene had he decided to run into the road or eat the tulips.

Content Library
Dig through our best stories from the magazine, all sorted by category for easy surfing.
Read More
Content Library
Buyer's Guide
Find manufacturers and suppliers in the most extensive searchable database in the industry.
Learn More
Buyer's Guide