Statistics maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that drowning accidents rank fifth in the list of leading causes of death from unintentional injury in the United States. A vast number of those drowning accidents occur in swimming pools that lack fundamental pool safety precautions, such as fencing and other barriers. In fact, home swimming pool accidents are responsible for more deaths and visits to the emergency room among children aged between 1 and 4 than any other cause apart from congenital defects. Many of these deaths and injuries could have easily been avoided if parents had adhered to basic swimming pool safety tips, according to the CDC.
Improving Pool Safety
Families can take several measures to improve the safety of their home swimming pools. Many experts recommend that precautionary measures begin with a set of basic pool safety tips for everyone in the family. The swimming pool safety tips should be simple to understand and to enforce. Some examples include no running on the pool deck, no keeping toys in the pool when it is not in use, no diving in shallow pools, and no electrical appliances near the pool.
H2>Children and Swimming Pools
Young children should also never be left unsupervised in a swimming pool – even for a short period of time. Horseplay in the water should be minimized as much as possible, and children need to be trained on the proper use of pool equipment like water slides. A responsible adult or older child who is trained in CPR should always be at hand to watch over children in a swimming pool. Such swimming pool safety guidelines can go a long way in mitigating the risk of swimming pool-related injuries and death.
Physical barriers play a crucial role in bolstering swimming pool safety as well. If you have a home swimming pool, ensure that it is enclosed on all sides to mitigate the risk of young children and toddlers wandering into the pool when no one is around. Make sure the fence is tall enough to prevent children from climbing over it easily. The gate to the swimming pool needs to open away from the pool, needs to be self-closing and self-latching, and should not be easy to unlock by children.
Other Pool Safety Tips
Pool covers, too, can enhance pool safety and mitigate the risk of accidental death and injury, particularly in the case of young children. Pool covers should completely cover the pool so as to eliminate the risk of children falling through narrow openings. Pool covers should never be allowed to have standing water collect on it, because that can seriously weaken the cover over time. Trees and shrubs that are close to the pool need to be trimmed back to prevent children from climbing over them to get into the pool. In addition, water levels need to be clearly marked so that swimmers know at all times how deep the water is at each end. Before installing a waterslide or a diving board, consult with a professional to see if your swimming pool can safely support these additional elements.