Summertime Pool Safety

Pools and spas are meant to be enjoyable and relaxing. Unfortunately, they can also be sources of catastrophic injury or even death. Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1-4. On average there 5,100 pool or spa related emergency room submersion related injuries for children under the age of 15 every year and many of these result in permanent disabilities such as brain damage. So here are some tips for pool safety that we hope will make your time in the water that much more fun and safe!

  1. Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm’s reach to provide active supervision. It’s the time to avoid distractions of any kind. If children are near water, then they should be the only thing on your mind. Small children can drown in as little as one inch of water.
  2. Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention.
  3. Whether you’re swimming in a pool or in a lake, teach children to always swim with an adult. Even older, more experienced swimmers should still swim with a partner every time. Teach children to never go near or in water without an adult present.
  4. Every child is different, so enroll children in swimming lessons when you feel they are ready.
  5. Remember that swimming aids such as water wings or noodles are fun toys for kids, but they should never be used in place of a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD).
  6. When it comes to pool and water safety, learning CPR should be on the top of the list. Local hospitals, fire departments and recreation departments offer CPR training.
  7. Have your children learn CPR.
  8. Make sure backyard pools have four-sided fencing that’s at least 4 feet high and a self-closing, self-latching gate to prevent a child from wandering into the pool area unsupervised.
  9. When using inflatable or portable pools, remember to empty them immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of children’s reach.
  10. Install a door alarm, a window alarm or both to alert you if a child wanders into the pool area unsupervised.
  11. Educate your children about the dangers of drain entanglement and teach them to never play or swim near drains or suction outlets.
  12. Pools that pose the greatest risk of entrapment are children’s public wading pools, in-ground hot tubs, or any other pools that have flat drain grates or a single main drain system.
  13. For new pools or hot tubs, install multiple drains in all pools, spas, whirlpools and hot tubs. This minimizes the suction of any one drain, reducing risk of death or injury.
  14. Regularly check to make sure drain covers are secure and have no cracks, and replace flat drain covers with dome-shaped ones. If a pool or hot tub has a broken, loose or missing drain cover, don’t use it.
  15. If you do have drains, protective measures include anti-entrapment drain covers and a safety vacuum release system to automatically release suction and shut down the pump should entrapment occur.