Keep your children protected throughout the summer by understanding basic safety issues related to above and in-ground pools. Staying safe in public and residential pools is not difficult. But each year, tragic drowning accidents take the lives of hundreds of children.
Last year alone, 202 children between ages one and 14 drowned between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Of those, 143 were children under five years old.
Water is a natural recreational draw for children and adults of all ages. When the temperature rises and school is out, the pool is a place for the community to gather to seek respite from the oppressive North Carolina heat.
If you and your family go to a pool this summer, be sure to keep the following points in mind:
- Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death of children. Even children who are good swimmers are at risk of drowning.
- It does not take long to drown. Most victims succumb to drowning before they are missed by parents and friends. If you notice any child is missing, quickly check neighborhood pools first.
- Teach your children to swim and encourage them to use flotation devices, particularly if they are not confident in the water. Practice water safety at pools and at the beach.
- Never leave children in pools unattended. Make arrangements with other adults to watch children. Always have a cell phone available.
- Do not leave poolside to make or take a phone call.
- Observe ordinances and regulations related to pool safety fences and gates. Install locks and alarms on slider doors and windows that lead to pool decks. Use a locking pool cover. Investigate wave or underwater alarms.
- Death by drowning is quiet. If you have a pool, use the buddy system and make sure no one swims alone.
With eight deaths in 2013, North Carolina ranks in the top ten states for swimming pool fatalities. Keep your family safe in and out of the water this year. If you or your child suffers an accident at an unsafe pool in North Carolina, seek advice from a lawyer.