Too often summer celebrations turn to tragedy due to drowning incidents.
An announcement urging pool safety by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said there are about 390 pool or spa-related drownings for children younger than 15, annually. Another 5,200 children of that age go to hospital emergency rooms for near-drowning injuries. An unknown number of children are seriously brain-damaged.
Below are useful reminders for pool safety by the USCPSC.
Having the Appropriate Equipment for Your Pool or Spa
- Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
- Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.
- If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install and use a door or pool alarm.
- Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order.
- Ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal standards, and ask your pool service provider if you do not know.
- Have lifesaving equipment such as life rings, floats or a reaching pole available and easily accessible.
Staying Close, Being Alert and Watching Children in and Around the Pool
- Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water.
- Teach children basic water safety tips.
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
- Have a telephone close by when you or your family are using a pool or spa.
- If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.
- Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors.
Learning and Practicing Water Safety Skills
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
- Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly.
- Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency.