Swimming is a popular activity during the hot summer weather. A visit to a residential or community pool can be fun, but it also carries the risk of drowning if proper safety measures are not observed. While pool owners should be aware of the dangers involved, all parents should take the time to ensure that their children will be safe when they are in or near a swimming pool. This is particularly true for parents of children under the age of 5. Children in that age group are the victims of more than three-quarters of all pool and spa drowning deaths, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The American Red Cross offers several swimming pool safety tips. Many of the tips focus on limiting access to swimming pools. A large percentage of drowning incidents occur when unsupervised children wander in to pools or spas and cannot escape. Pool owners are required to maintain a fence around the swimming pool to prevent just such a tragedy. In addition, pool owners should put a safety cover over pools that are not being used. The pool should be separated by a self-closing, self-latching gate, preferably one equipped with an alarm to warn adults when the pool is being accessed unexpectedly.
Children must be supervised during every moment of a visit to a swimming pool. Vigilance is vital to preventing drowning deaths. If many children are going to be in the pool at the same time, it may require several adults to properly supervise the gathering.
Source: Palos Patch, “Maintaining a Safe Environment at the Swimming Pool,” by Ben Feldheim, 14 July 2013