The summer can be a wonderful time for kids. School is out and so is the sun. But summer can also be a dangerous time if children aren’t supervised around the pool. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are over 3,000 accidental fatal drownings in the United States each year – an average of nine people per day. The Insurance Information Institute reports that 600 of those drownings will occur in home pools. Drowning remains the second-leading cause of injury-related death for children 1 to 14.
What’s more, for every child under 14 that dies each year, another 5 have to receive emergency care for non-fatal submersion injuries. The oxygen deprivation in these non-fatal drownings can cause brain damage resulting in long-term disabilities that range from medical problems to learning disabilities to permanent vegetation.
Red Cross Safety Tips
The American Red Cross offers a number of safety tips to your home pool to keep children out of danger.
- Never leave a child unattended around water. If the child is under the age of 5, they should never be out of arm’s reach.
- Install a phone by the pool or have your cell phone nearby so you can call 911 in an emergency
- Learn to swim. This includes adults and children. If a child is in danger in the deep end, the adult will need to be able to swim out to him/her to save the child.
- Learn CPR.
- Enclose the pool area completely with a self-locking and self-closing fence. Also, remove all furniture from the fence area that a child might use to climb over it.
- Always keep basic lifesaving equipment – poles, ropes, or flotation devices – near the pool.
- Keep toys away from the pool when you’re not using it. Toys can attract young children to the pool area.
- Completely remove pool covers prior to use. Swimming in a half-covered pool can be extremely dangerous for children, who may choose to play under the covered half, out of your sight.
- If a child is missing, always check the pool first.
These are just a few of the many things that you can do to keep your children and your neighbor’s children safe at your home pool. Have a safe and happy summer!
If you or a loved one was injured in a swimming pool accident, contact our offices today to schedule a free consultation.