As we approach June already, the summer is in reach. The hot, humid summer days leave most of us dreaming of cooling off and relaxing at the pool or spa. But water submersions and drownings happen quickly, especially when they involve children. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a telephone. That’s why it is important to follow key pool safety guidelines.
Follow these simple steps to help prevent a pool-related injury or fatality:
Stay within arms reach AT ALL TIMES, both in and around the water.
Start swimming lessons as early as possible.
Have a charged and working portable phone close by when using the pool or spa.
If using a public or community pool, make sure there are life guards on duty before entering the pool area.
Ensure there are proper pool safety measures in place, such as:
fenced in pool area with self-closing, self-latching gates;
surface or water level sensors, gate, door and exit alarms;
a non-penetrating cover to completely block access to the water when pool is not in use;
life-saving devices, such a floatation ring or swimming hook, that are easily accessible and in good working condition;
a rope and float line to alert swimmers to the separation to the deep and shallow ends of the pool.
If a child goes missing check the pool or spa area FIRST. Time is of the essence when a pool-related incident occurs so rule out that possibility ASAP.
It is also advised to have a Pool Safety Kit nearby. Items to include are: a first aid kit, scissors (to cut clothing, hair or pool cover), whistle (to attract attention), flotation device and charged portable phone to dial 911. Have belongings, such as towels, sunscreen, etc. handy so that you do not have to leave the pool area to fetch them.
You might also want to consider attending a training course to learn CPR skills for both adults and children. If you have taken a CPR course in the past make sure you update your knowledge frequently. At the very least understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency. CPR and other First Aid courses can be found here: http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class
An injury or fatality is devastating enough, but what if the incident occurred in your pool or spa? What if the distraught parents sued you for not having proper pool security measures in place. Make sure you are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of a pool related incident. Also, make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy is current and covers any alterations or additions to your property.
NEVER leave a child unattended in or around water, not even for a second!
76% of deaths occurred in children under the age of 5 years old.