A pool is a wonderful addition to any home, providing recreation, entertainment, and a way to cool off in the summer’s heat.
But with a pool comes the responsibility to keep everyone safe. Drowning can occur in as little as ten seconds, and in as little as two inches of water.
According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death with 372,000 drowning deaths occurring annually. The Centers for Disease Control report that in the U.S. 3,536 people die from drowning annually, which equates to 10 deaths every day. In addition to that, there are the thousands of others who suffer swimming pool-related injuries every year. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that an average of 4,900 people received emergency care for injuries suffered in swimming pools or spas annually for years 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Children are particularly vulnerable to injuries or death by drowning. According to the CDC, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4. And according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 390 deaths a year on average are attributed to drowning in a swimming pool or at a spa. 76 percent of drowning deaths in the United States each year involved children younger than 5 years old. 67 percent of swimming pool drowning deaths involved children younger than 3 years old. An alarming 75 percent of drowning deaths of children younger than 15 occurred at swimming pools located at private residences.
Here are tips that are vital to maintaining the safety of your pool and the surrounding area.
It is extremely important to maintain secure fencing around your pool area to prevent access when there is a lack of adequate supervision. Install self-closing and self-latching gates in the proper locations to ensure that no unsafe access is possible.
Ensure that no one ever swims alone. Never leave a child unattended in the water or surrounding pool area. Also, make sure that inexperienced swimmers are always accompanied by an adult with some sort of lifeguarding ability.
Equip your pool area with a child-proof lock, as well as an alarm system to alert you if someone enters the area while unattended.
Make sure there is adequate life-saving equipment in the pool area that is easily accessible. Equipment should include life preservers, a rope with life-saving rings, as well as a reaching pole or rescue hook.
Know what to do if an emergency arises. Take the time to learn life-saving skills like CPR and first aid. Make sure to keep emergency numbers and a phone close to the pool to call for help in case of an emergency.
If you have a pool, or you plan to spend time near one this summer, it is critical that you are prepared and are aware of the risks. Following as many of these water safety steps as possible is a great way to assure an enjoyable experience. Have fun, and most importantly, stay on the Safeside!