Pool safety is important all year
By Maura Tabarrini
With summer fast approaching and temperatures heating up, we are all ready to gather with our family and friends by the pool. In order to make sure your pool time is safe and fun, there are some safety tips that need to be considered in preparation for your gathering.
According to the Safe Kids Worldwide Website, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1-4 years old. In 2018, 918 children under the age of 19 drowned and more than 7,000 were seen in the emergency room. Given these startling statistics, it is important that we ensure the safety of our children in or around a pool.
The National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) provides a list of water safety tips to follow:
1. Educate children and adults about water safety
2. Never leave a child unattended in a pool or hot tub
3. Designate a “water watcher” to maintain constant watch over children in the pool during gatherings
4. Learn CPR and rescue breathing
5. Doors and windows should be alarmed to alert adults when opened
6. Responsibilities of pool ownership include ensuring children in the home learn to swim and that adults know CPR
By designating a water watcher, you can ensure that the occupants in and around the pool will be safer while enjoying their pool time together. Adults can take turns throughout the day, and wear a designated bracelet or necklace to identify as the official water watcher. Here are some tips for the assigned water watcher to follow:
1. Never leave children alone near water – not even for a second
2. When children are in or around water, assign an adult to be the designated water watcher who will wear a badge and have their eyes on the children at all times
3. The water watcher should be within an arm’s length of the children (able to reach out and touch them)
4. Use multiple barriers to physically block the child from the pool: surround your pool with a pool fence that is four sided and five feet high with a self-closing, self- latching gate.
5. Install a pool alarm
6. Become CPR certified
7. Keep a cell phone, emergency numbers (911) and rescue gear by the pool
8. Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible but remember, even children who know how to swim can have a water-related accident. Safety precautions are always required
Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding injury or death when it comes to our children enjoying their summer pool time. By taking proper safety precautions, parties and celebrations by the pool can be much more enjoyable. For more information and safety tips you can access the Safe Kids Worldwide website or the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA).
Maura Tabarrini is a Child Advocate with Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.