A dip in the pool is a refreshing and popular way cool down and have fun during the hotter months of the year. In fact, a dip in any body of water often makes for an enjoyable time for the whole family. When people aren’t careful, however, a fun time in the water can turn deadly, particularly for children. Parents and guardians of children have the responsibility to keep them safe at all times. Whether spending time at a community pool or in the pool in the backyard of one’s home, a person must know the right steps to take in order to reduce the risk of accidental drowning. One way to do this is to picture water safety as a pie. Like swimming, most people find pies enjoyable and they are easy to visualize and remember. In thinking of water safety in these terms, imagine that the pie has been sliced into four slices of equal size.There are four slices to the pie because there are four letters in the word “safe.” The “S” slice represents supervision, the “A” slice represents aquatic programs, “F” stands for “fences,” and “E” for every adult CPR certified. Making one slice smaller, or less important than the next, could result in a child potentially losing his or her life. Understanding and applying the safe pie will help ensure that children remain safe when pools are nearby.
In the U.S. there are an estimated 250 children who, at the age of five years or under, drown yearly. These deaths happen quickly, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, in as little as thirty seconds. In addition, children often drown silently, with little if any splashing or noise to alert adults. For this reason it is crucial that parents and anyone who is charged with the care of a child to supervise them closely. Most safety experts advise that children be kept within arms’ length of an adult the entire time that they are near or in a pool. They should never be allowed near or in a pool alone or alone with other children.
Aquatic programs are a good choice for children and their parents. In addition to teaching children to swim, they also teach them about water safety, helps them to become comfortable in the water, and teaches and hones fundamental swimming skills. Often there are also programs that allow parent participation with smaller children. There are even programs, like what is offered by the Red Cross and the National Swimming Pool Foundation, that teach pool responsibility and safety online for parents and other adults with swimming pools.
Blocking access to swimming pools will help keep children from wandering or playing near them, and as a result reduces the risk falling into it by accident. Installing four-foot or higher fencing around the pool is one way to do that. During times when the pool is not being used, the fence should be locked using a combination lock. When buying a fence, it is important to choose one that has a latch that is higher than a small child can reach. It is also important to put up a fence that is self-closing and latching and that surrounds all four sides of the pool. Placing a barrier such as a power safety cover over the pool when not in use can also help prevent children from entering the water when no one is around. For maximum safety the cover must meet the standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials, or ASTM. The pool cover does not and should not be used in place of fencing. Pool alarms are yet another security device that can alert parents if children enter or fall into the pool. Setting alarms on windows and doors, including doggie doors, will alert adults to children slipping out of the house.
Every Adult Caregiver CPR Certified
In the event that a child does fall into the pool it is critical that the supervising adults know how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, more commonly referred to as CPR. An adult who is CPR certified will be able to take the necessary actions that could save the life of a child who has fallen into a pool and who has stopped breathing. CPR is the necessary step to not only save lives, but if performed quickly enough it can also prevent brain damage. A person can find CPR courses by contacting their local American Red Cross or the American Heart Association.