Make a Splash for Swimming Pool Safety
From Prevent Child Injury
As soon as the weather starts warming up, families are eager to hit the pool. Most parents and caregivers know to watch their children while they are swimming – but what about when they aren’t swimming? The truth is that nearly 60% of children who drown were not supposed to be in or around the pool when they were found in the water.
Because drowning happens so quickly, and usually without any splashing or noise, it’s important to have several layers of protection to prevent young children and inexperienced swimmers from getting near the water. Here are a few strategies to keep children from getting to the pool when adults aren’t around:
- Use physical barriers.
Make sure all swimming pools (including inflatable above-ground pools) are surrounded by a fence that is at least 4-feet high and has a self-closing, self-latching gate. The fence should not have openings (either underneath or between the slats) that are more than 4 inches. Empty smaller pools after every use.
- Install alarms.
Install alarms on all doors that lead outside. These alarms make a sound when the door is opened to warn adults that a child might have gone outside. Put pool alarms in the water itself. These alarms sound an alert when there are waves in the water, which could mean that someone has fallen into the pool.
- Swim time is family time.
Teach young children that being in or around the pool is only done with adults around – never by themselves. Put away all pool toys when swim time is over so that children are not tempted to go near the pool unsupervised.
Following these tips can help keep your family safer around the pool. For more swimming pool safety information, visit www.preventchildinjury.org/toolkits/swimmingpoolsafety.