National Water Safety Month
Having a backyard swimming pool is a great way to beat the heat and have fun. But before you jump in, remember, pools also pose potentially hazardous situations.
May is National Water Safety Month. It is a good time to ensure your pool is properly equipped with adequate barriers and safety equipment, including CPR instructions.
Each year, thousands of families suffer swimming pool tragedies. Drowning is, in fact, a leading cause of injury-related deaths in children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The majority of deaths and pool-related injures involve young children.
Drowning is “quick and silent and not at all like it’s depicted in the movies,” according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Young children are inquisitive and have no fear of the water. Even when adults are present, a child can quickly slip under the water and drown.
The number one way to safeguard children is to teach them to swim. The American Red Cross has a number of water safety tips and stresses everyone should know how to swim and swim well.
Keep an Eye on the Children
While swimming skills lower the drowning rates for children, they are not a panacea. Adult supervision around water, whether it be a pool, bathtub or ocean, is also essential. Don’t let yourself become distracted; better yet appoint one adult whose lone responsibility is to watch over the children in the pool. Even small kiddie pools can become a death trap, accounting for 10 percent of the total fatalities for children younger than 15, according to the CPSC.
As a residential pool owner, you are responsible for the safety of everyone who is on your property – children, adults, neighbors, even pets. The CPSC offers a number of safety guidelines for residential pools to help homeowners create and maintain safe pool and spa areas.
- Adequate fencing, with self-closing and self-latching locks on gates, is required by law. You should also install an alarm on pool gates, which will sound if a gate has been opened for a few seconds.
- Doors and windows should be alarmed to alert adults if opened.
- Pool alarms are available that sound if the surface of the pool water is disturbed. There are a variety of pool alarms including threshold alarms, perimeter alarms and wristband alarms that can even be used on pets.
- Consider installing a power-operated pool safety cover.
- Residential pool owners should also keep a lifesaver with a rope and a shepherd’s hook near the pool. These are simple inexpensive items you can be use to pull someone to safety.
Be Responsible: Learn About Water Safety
The Red Cross along with the National Swimming Pool Foundation offers an online safety course for pool and hot tub owners. It has a number of water safety tips including the importance of everyone learning to swim.
Remember, you should remain within touching distance of your children while swimming and keep put safety barriers and alarms around any pool on your property. Contact Delco Alarm Systems for more information on child-resistant pool alarms and other systems to keep your family safe.