Nothing says summer like time spent swimming in your new above-ground pool. Though despite the joy and merriment the summer brings, we often forget the many dangers the pool can pose.
The risk of children drowning is a very real threat. Most parents are shocked to learn the number one cause of death according to the CDC among children ages 1-4 is drowning which is the second leading cause of death among children ages 5-9 years old. Additionally, nearly 70% of these drownings occurred because the child was thought to be elsewhere. Now that you’ve had a proper warning of just how serious water safety is, here are 5 tips to protect your loved ones.
1. ALWAYS BE ALERT
The number one rule when it comes to pool safety, especially when children are present, is to always have an adult watching. Sitting nearby, especially if you’re focused on socializing with other people, is not enough. Children can drown in as little as one minute. For this reason, there needs to be a “designated lifeguard”, someone who is watching the children and the water without distraction.
2. Additional Safety Measures
The American Academy of Pediatrics has said, “the Installation of 4-sided fencing (at least 4 ft tall) with self-closing and self-latching gates that completely isolates the pool from the house and yard is the most studied and effective drowning-prevention strategy for the young child”. This method has shown to prevent more than 50% of swimming-pool drownings of young children. Life jackets are also well proven to prevent drowning fatalities, but again, constant supervision is the best method.
3. Enroll in swim lessons and water competency here in Central Florida
If you and your family are spending time around a pool, swim lessons and water competency are essential courses. Even the youngest babies can be taught basic swim instructions, like learning to float on their backs through programs offered here in Central Florida by Wee Kick Aquatics, Gold Fish Swim School, Little Aquatics Swim Lessons, and online the YMCA offers some great basic tips. Many community organizations also offer swimming and safety instructions, such as the Kiwanis Every Child a Swimmer program.
Swim safety and swim lessons are not just for children, adults need to learn as well. A survey done by the Red Cross showed that only 56% of Americans describe themselves as competent swimmers. Family time in the pool is only safe when everyone is being safe.
4. Safely Store Swimming Pool Chemicals
Like all household chemicals, pool chemicals also pose a health risk. Make certain that any pool chemicals are properly sealed and stored away from little hands.
5. Learn CPR Central Florida
Often, despite our best efforts, accidents occur. One of the essential things you can do to lower the risk of a fatality is to learn CPR. Performing CPR prior to the arrival of first responders is the most effective method to improve the outcome in the event of a drowning. According to the American Heart Association, if CPR is provided immediately it can double – or even triple – a victim’s chance of survival. Learn it, know it, and you may save a life.
Unfortunately, our law firm has experience handling this type of claim involving negligence that lead to a child drowning. There are enough dangers around, don’t let the family swimming pool become one of them.
From the team at C. Todd Smith Law, because we care about serving our clients and our community.