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When the heat of the summer sun gets a little too much to bare, people will take refuge at the beach or at a pool. Public beaches and pools normally have lifeguards on duty to ensure the safety of all participants at the facility. This is not the case with household pools you find in the backyard. Unfortunately, accidents happen all the time. Since they are accidents, there should be some steps to take to keep them at bay, if possible.
Although a backyard pool is more personable, the rules of safety still apply and should be adhered to at all times with or without a lifeguard. At home pools have a high risk for accidental drownings (including dry drowning) that mostly include children. Parents and guardians must be diligent about the safety of their children in a pool to prevent drownings and serious injuries whether from falling in or playing games in the pool.
There are few things than can be done to prevent accidental drownings. Child access to the pool should be under adult supervision only. Some pool owners find it helpful to build a gate or fence around the pool with an attached lock. For small children, the height of the gate should be at least four inches. Latches and locks should be secure enough so that children under the recommended height cannot enter on their own.
Another option for parents to consider would be putting an alarm on the gate. If a gate or fence is not prudent for a households’ particular style or convenience, placing a cover over the pool may be an alternative. Pool jackets or covers work as a barrier to prevent unsupervised children from gaining access to the water. Covers can be manually applied or with a motorized device.
Here are a few more tips to keep in mind for child safety at the pool.
- Keep children and adults away from any openings or drains in the pool.
- Cover all drains and openings. The sucking force of an uncovered drain can entrap arms, legs, hair, and other things that could led to severe injuries and death.
- It should go without saying that a baby on a pool float requires 100% supervision (ideally within an arm’s reach).
- Learn how to swim. If you cannot swim, you will not be able to save a child that may be drowning.
- Know CPR. Make sure all adults know water and pool safety.
- Keep your child aware of the importance of pool safety.
- Toddlers should ALWAYS be supervised even if wearing a toddler life jacket.
- In case of an emergency, keep a water proof phone nearby to call for help.
- Use swim vests and life jackets for young children.
- Have kids wear swim goggles to protect their eyes and plenty of sunscreen to protect their skin.
Children under five suffer from pool submersion every year. Unfortunately some end in death. Keep children close and never out of sight when in or around a backyard pool. Adults need to be cautious, as well. Take the necessary safety steps to prevent accidents,and keep the pool fun going.