Community and backyard swimming pools are a popular place to be – with summer break wrapping up and the start of school just around the corner.
Experts are reminding people that if you have a pool in your backyard, make sure it is childproof.
Fire crews also recommend fences, locked door, and pool alarms. A pool alarm will alert you inside and outside your home when a child or animal falls into the pool.
“It happens quick and it happens fast. It is usually when a parent thinks someone else is watching the child. It is not necessarily when everyone is in the pool having a good time. It is after they get out, right before nap time or after when a child wakes up and they don’t know,” said Elizabeth Graham, Public Information Officer with Palm Harbor Fire Rescue.
According to the National Safety Council more than 3,700 people drowned in 2016 in the United States. Drowning deaths increase during the summer months and can happen to people of any age. However drowning was the #1 cause of death for 1 to 4 year-olds in 2016, with 463 drownings.
Here are some Pool Safety Tips from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Don’t let kids run around the pool. We see a ton of injuries from that.
- Something people don’t think about much is pool chemicals, which can be very harmful to children, so proper storage is important.
- Don’t jump off the roof into the pool — ever. And remember, trampolines, roofs and swimming pools do not mix in any combination.
- Water guns are getting a lot more powerful, so keep kids safe from potential eye injuries.
- Think about things that might be “sharing” the pool with you — like water moccasins. Last year we had two patients bitten by snakes when cleaning leaves out of their pool filters.
- If you’re allergic to bees, be careful around the pool. People tend to leave food and drinks around, which will attract bees.
- Be sure everybody knows the variations in the pool depth. Children can go from a very shallow wading area to a 3-foot depth very rapidly (especially if there’s a drop-off), or go down the slide into deep water and get into trouble quickly. You just can’t turn your back on non-swimmers for a second.
- Be aware that bacteria and pathogens can be spread in even chlorine-treated water, especially if young children are present. (Read up on the CDC’s information on recreational water illnesses.)
American Red Cross CPR Instructor Dave Johnson says pool owners who have kids should take extra steps to ensure they can’t get into the water on their own.
“If it’s a really high wall of the pool, take the ladder out so they can’t get over the wall. But a fence really provides a lot of that protection as well,” said Johnson.
Being able to perform proper CPR is another beneficial tool pool owners should know.
“With proper CPR we give them that chance to survive to get them to the hospital.”
Johnson mentioned the American Red Cross offers CPR classes to the public. The life-saving measure could help someone survive in case the worse does occur.