May 22, 2013

Summer Pool Safety

By Jaklitsch Law Group of Jaklitsch Law Group on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

poolAs Memorial Day weekend approaches, parents need to watch their kids even more closely.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, drowning is the second leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 19, and more than 1,000 children drown each year nationwide. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that all children should take swimming lessons; although this may help, it will not prevent a child from drowning.

Here is a list of some tips that can help keep your child safe this summer:

-Never leave a child near a pool unattended even for a moment. It’s important to always supervise children while they’re in and near the water.

-Practice “touch” supervision with children younger than 5 years. This means that an adult is within an arm’s length of the child at all times.

-Teach your child to always swim with a partner.

-Enclose your pool in a safety fence at least 4 feet high with slats no more than 4 inches apart. The fence should completely separate the pool from the house and play area in the yard. The fence gate must have a childproof latch. Don’t leave furniture nearby as it could help a child climb over the fence.

-Learn CPR and post CPR instructions in the pool area. Have a phone nearby so you can call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

-Do not use air-filled swimming aids, such as “water wings,” as a substitute for adult supervision.

-Keep toys away from the pool when it is not in use as they can attract young children into the area.

-Never allow children to dive into an above-ground pool and check the water depth before allowing them to dive into an in-ground pool. Keep clear of the area near a diving board.

-Establish pool rules and post them near your pool. Don’t allow running or horseplay around the pool.

-Close supervision is just as important for inflatable and portable pools. A child can drown in just an inch of water. Kiddie pools should be emptied and stored out of reach when not in use.

-From a young age, encourage children to always swim with a buddy.

-When there are several adults present use the Water Watcher card strategy. This means one particular adult is the Water Watcher for a certain period of time (for example 15- minutes) to prevent lapses in supervision.