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."
Download our water safety tips (PDF).