Many drowning incidents involve swimming pools and spas. Drowning is a silent and sudden event. Nationwide, 300 children under the age of five die each year in swimming pools and 2000 more are taken to emergency rooms with pool-related injuries. Adopt the following guidelines to help keep your pool area safe.
Always practice constant adult supervision around any body of water. Older children should not be left in charge of younger children in the pool area.
Install four-sided fencing that isolates the pool from the home. Four-sided pool fencing is proven to be an effective drowning prevention intervention.
Position gate latches out of the reach of young children.
Never prop the gate open or disable the latch.
Clear debris, clutter and pool toys from the pool deck and adjoining pathways to prevent falls.
Keep a cell phone or cordless, water resistant telephone in the pool area and post emergency numbers near the pool area.
Enroll non-swimmers in swimming lessons taught by a qualified instructor. Pediatricians recommend that children ages 5 and older learn how to swim.
Knowing how to swim does not make a child drown-proof. Flotation devices are not a substitute for supervision.
Never swim alone. Even adults should always swim with a buddy.
Learn and practice the basic lifesaving techniques, including First Aid and CPR.
Insist that anyone who cares for your children learn CPR.
Keep poolside rescue equipment close to the pool area.
Remove toys from around the pool when they are not in use.
Instruct babysitters and visitors about the "rules of the pool."