by Rob Cox, April 17, 2010
Swimming Pool Safety ~ Who's watching the kids?
May is Pool Safety Month in the US, and for 2010, the swimming pool industry is committed to reducing accidental drownings and near drownings in pools.
As the sign says, "Children under the age of 14 should not use pool without an adult in attendance. Yet many children are left in the pool without proper adult supervision. "Proper" adult supervision should also include the adjectives responsible, dedicated, alert and sober. This should not include siblings, or young babysitters.
In most cases of accidental drowning or near drowning of a child, the "supervisor" of the child claims that the child was seen just minutes before being found in the pool. Important to also note that no sounds of distress or cries for help were heard. Drowning is Silent.
In studies of cases involving drowning and near drowning in swimming pools, it was discovered that children in the US are not being adequately supervised. Many times they are left in the care of inattentive young adults or others who are not actively watching the child swimmers.
And in other cases, the children were not supposed to be outside. A door was left open, a gate unlocked. The child "just wandered off". Through tears, a cry of "5 minutes, I was gone 5 minutes!" is often the statement made by shocked parents who may never recover from such a preventable tragedy.
Oftentimes, our busy lives make it difficult to keep track of active youngsters. They do just seem to disappear. If you have kids under 5 years old, who may not be strong swimmers, your first duty is to protect them from the danger of accidental drowning. Be aware of distractions, allowing them, but always keeping your young children in sight.
Short of installing a lifeguard chair next to your pool, what are some tips for improving the level of supervision, and which technology devices are available to help guard the pool?
- Buy a cordless phone with a range that will work by the pool.
- Educate your children that they are not to swim without a designated and dedicated adult "lifeguard".
- Install Door Alarms and Gate Alarms on every pool access point.
- Install secondary Pool Alarms on the pool to alert you to unauthorized use or an unfolding tragedy.
- Make sure your doors and gates leading to the pool are self closing and self latching.
- Pool Safety Fencing or Pool Safety Covers make an extremely effective barrier to entry.
- Teach your babies to swim. ISR classes begin at 6 months of age.
- Learn CPR, there are many Online CPR Certification classes.
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