Small Children and Pool Safety

Small Children and Pool Safety

It’s summer time in North Texas and the temperatures are up again. Unfortunately that is not the only thing that’s up. Boating and pool related deaths are also in the news. Boating and public pool safety are often discussed and reviewed. A topic that often gets overlooked is home pool safety. Two children drowned in a home pool this last weekend. It is hard to think of a situation more devastating for a parent. What can be done to help prevent this kind of tragedy?

The first area of concern is to set up the pool area so that accidents are prevented. Some positive steps that can be taken:

  • Keep fence areas clear of alternative entries to the pool area. Trim back over hanging tree limbs. Make sure that chairs, equipment and toys that could be used to help climb the fence are kept away from the fence.
  • Have a fence around the pool area and make sure the gate is a self-closing gate. The latch should be out of the reach of the children.
  • Use a line or rope to clearly define the shallow end of the pool from the deep water.
  • Have a life preserver, a throwing line or a pole for reaching on each side of the pool
  • For above ground pools, make sure steps, ladders, etc. are firmly set when in use and safely stored when the pool is not in use.

Ongoing safety procedures should be followed:

  • Never leave a child alone without adult supervision
  • Children should be given swimming lessons
  • No running, pushing or jumping on others
  • Don’t swim in thunder storms when lightning is nearby
  • Don’t allow glass in the pool area
  • Don’t leave toys in the pool that might attract children

Be prepared when an emergency occurs:

  • Learn CPR and basic water safety first aid
  • When a child is missing, check the pool area first. A child can drown in less than five minutes and in only 2 inches of water
  • Know how to reach your emergency center (911 in most US locations).
  • Don’t expect emergency operators to give you first aid instructions over the phone. They are not licensed to do that.
  • Try to stay as calm as possible. Give simple, direct information and stay on the line until emergency responders arrive.
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Summer is a great time for families to get together and the pool is a great gathering place. Help insure that these times stay happy by following good preventive procedures and knowing how to respond if an emergency occurs.

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