Summer is in full swing, which means friends and families will be flocking to swimming pools to cool down and enjoy a day of fun. As you enjoy this favored season, it is important to keep certain safety precautions in mind to avoid a preventable disaster. Drowning accidents are a major problem in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accounting for an average of 3,533 deaths every year, not including accidents that are boating-related. About 1 out of 5 people killed in these accidents were children under the age of 14.
How can you keep your young ones safe this summer while enjoying a day at the pool? Here are some tips to remember this summer:
1.Always have a responsible adult supervise your children: You or another responsible adult should always supervise children when they are near or in the pool. It is also crucial for the supervising adult to not be distracted. This means no perusing the internet on a smartphone, having conversations with others, or reading. Drowning accidents can happen quickly, so you have to be able to respond as soon as you notice a child is in danger and close enough to reach them in time.
2.Swimming lessons: Both children and adults can benefit immensely from taking formal swimming lessons. It can reduce the likelihood of a child drowning, and make an adult more capable of rescuing them in the event of an accident.
3.Limit alcohol consumption: There are two reasons for this safety rule. First, if you are supervising children, you should never consume alcohol since this will impact your ability to act quickly and make important, life-saving decisions on the spot. If you plan on taking a dip in the pool yourself, limit how much you drink. Drowning accidents among adults are closely linked with alcohol consumption, so be smart and do not drink before getting into the pool, or while you are swimming.
4.Provide real safety devices for children: Toys that float are fun, but they are not substitutes for true safety devices. Get a life jacket or other safety device for your children to use while in the pool instead of on relying on toys.
5.Learn CPR: Knowing CPR is a lifesaving skill that can be the difference between survival and death for a drowning accident victim. It takes time for emergency responders to arrive, during which time the window of opportunity for reviving someone might pass.
6.Store pool toys when not in use: Pool toys are very attractive to children and leaving them out might make the pool an undeniable temptation, even when they do not have permission or adults are not around to supervise them. Be sure to store toys away out of sight when children do not have permission to use the pool.
7.Install a fence: If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, consider installing a fence to keep children out of the pool. It should be at least 4 feet tall; high enough to make it inaccessible to them, but still accessible for adults.
8.Maintain suction covers and drains: Failing to maintain suction covers and drains could pose a drowning risk to swimmers of all ages. Keep them properly maintained and in good working order to prevent accidents and injuries.
9.Put an alarm on doors leading to the pool area: If you cannot install a fence around your pool, install an alarm to alert you when a child attempts to access the pool without permission.
10.Use a pool cover: Some pools come equipped with a pool cover, but if yours does not have one, invest in a high-quality pool cover with a strong safety rating.
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