Seven tips to keep your family safe in the swimming pool
Swimming pools can provide a refreshing retreat during the hot summer months, but they can also pose a major risk. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 60 percent of drowning deaths occur in residential pools. Even more unsettling - drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths in children.
Proactively prevent risk of injury or death from drowning. Keep these pool safety tips in mind:
Supervise children and use the buddy system. No one should ever swim alone. Always supervise children when around the pool, and adults should use the buddy system (have another person present just in case there is an emergency).
Keep toys away from the pool when not in use. Toys in the pool area could lure children toward the water, where they can easily fall in.
Surround the pool with a fence or barrier on all sides. Ideally, the pool should be fenced-in separately from the rest of the yard. If the house acts as the fourth side of a barrier to the pool, install a pool alarm to alert you when someone enters the pool area.
Install a self-closing, self-latching gate. The latch should be at least 54 inches from the ground to keep it out of small children's reach.
Do not substitute the ability to swim for fences and gates around a swimming pool. Knowing how to swim does not prevent drowning. Even adults who have the ability to swim can drown in a pool if other factors, such as alcohol, are involved.
Keep children away from drains and other openings. Drains and other openings in the pool can create dangerous traps for children. Hair and clothing can get stuck in these systems, trapping victims underwater.
Create a pool safety kit. This should include:
o A standard first aid kit for minor injuries such as cuts and scrapes.
o A flotation device for pool rescues.
o Heavy duty scissors to cut hair or clothing in the event it gets stuck in a drain or filter.