Safety around the pool is a key part of having fun during the summer months. When you consider that over 300 children under the age of 5 drown in private pools each year, it becomes a serious issue. This doesn’t include the hundreds of cases of near-drowning and other injuries from slips and falls. Drowning is second most common way that children under 14 lose their lives. Even near-drowning incidents can cause brain damage and, at the very least, high medical bills. There are a few guidelines to follow to help keep children safe around your pool or to pass along to friends and neighbors with pools.
Many accidental drownings happen when a child falls into a pool when no one is around. These cases could be easily prevented by having a fence around the pool. Of course, fences can be climbed but this is your first line of defense against tragedy. A fence that is four feet tall will keep most children away from the pool. If you have a fence that has a gate you should also consider putting a lock of some kind on the gate to keep in closed when you are away or asleep. The inconvenience of having to unlock the gate to use it is worth saving a child’s life.
Have safety equipment on hand and nearby. A safety cover is another proactive way to keep kids out of the pool without supervision. Do some shopping around and you can find some at a discount. If there is one door or gate that leads to the pool, consider putting an alarm on it so you will know when someone enters that area. One very important safety device is you. If you have a large pool, make sure you can swim well enough to go in and save someone if the situation arises. Be prepared for the worst just in case it happens.
Never allow young children to use the pool without adult supervision. Children need to be educated about the dangers of the pool and will need reminders about why they need to be supervised. If you are supervising the swimming make sure you are paying attention to the pool and not distracted with other tasks. It doesn’t take long for a child to drown. Make sure all other adults and caretakers understand that if any child is in the pool that they need constant supervision.
Many drowning incidents are preventable. Follow these simple steps and you will greatly reduce the risk that comes with owning a swimming pool.