Pool Safety – Taking Steps That Could Save a Life
Did you know that nearly 300 children younger than five drown in swimming pools every year? For every fatal drowning incident, five more children are treated in emergency rooms. Your greatest assurance for pool safety is adopting and practicing as many safety measures as possible for your pool and the area around it. Even one can make a difference—and save a life.
1. Practice supervision. Never take your eyes off children in the water—even for a minute. Always designate a “pool watcher.” Never permit children or teenagers to swim alone with no adult supervision. As an added layer of protection, consider computer operated pool alarms that are set off remotely in your home by ripples in the pool. If there are toddlers in the family, consider personal pool alarms that attach to the arm of a child and are set off inside the home by exposure to water.
2. Install barriers. In most states, swimming pools qualify as an “attractive nuisance,” which refers to a safety hazard that children find appealing while lacking the experience to know the dangers it may pose. Owners of swimming pools are therefore expected to take reasonable steps to restrict pool access to children or otherwise be held liable for their injuries. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) strongly recommends that all residential pools have a four-foot barrier, such as a fence with self-closing and self-latching gates. Don’t leave any lawn furniture or objects children can climb to get over the fence and into the pool area. If your house is the fourth side of a barrier, secure doors with alarms that prevent children from wandering into the pool area.
3. Avoid entrapments. Do not play or swim near drains or suction outlets. Suction from a pool’s drain can be so powerful it can trap an adult underwater. A pool with a broken, loose or missing drain cover should be closed immediately until it can be repaired by a licensed professional. Report drain entrapments by calling the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) hotline at 800-638-2772.
4. Practice diving safety. Post “No Diving” signs clearly on all above-ground pools, which are not designed for diving. Never dive off the side of an in-ground pool, especially at the shallow end. Dive only off of a diving board that has been installed by a professional.
5. Learn and practice life-saving skills. Teach your children how to swim. Learn CPR so you can help save a life in case of a water emergency. Practice your skills regularly and rehearse emergency drills to keep water safety top of mind. Keep a cell or cordless phone in easy reach in the pool area in case of emergencies. Seconds count in drowning cases.
Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. For more pool safety and product safety information. Go to: www.poolsafely.gov
If you have any questions or concerns about your whether you have sufficient homeowner insurance to protect you in the event of a serious pool accident, please call us at 631-727-4114 or email us. Ask us about personal umbrella coverage for added protection.