Although the luxury of having a swimming pool has risen in popularity in the US over the years and are a fun way to cool down during the hot summer months, swimming pools can also be very hazardous, especially for young children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other than birth defects, drowning is the leading cause of death of children from ages 1 to 4 in the U.S. with most drowning accidents occurring in home swimming pools.
Although children ages 1 to 3 are at the greatest risk, older kids are also in danger. The CDC reports drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for kids under the age of 15 and for every child who dies, 10 children will be sent to the hospital for nonfatal submersion injuries.
The most important way to prevent injury is to vigilantly supervise at all times children are near the water. Make sure a responsible adult is closely watching all kids playing in and around the pool. The adult should have their full attention on the children and not doing anything that distracts or diverts their attention. When there are preschool or younger children around, the supervising adult should be close enough to reach any child within a second or two. Also, it is a good idea for all pool owners to learn CPR. Local fire departments and hospitals have information about upcoming classes.
Keeping kids away from the pool when no adult is around to watch them is very important. Here are seven actions that you can take to help prevent most home swimming pool accidents.
- Be sure the pool area is fenced in.
- Make sure the fence gate cannot be opened by a child.
- Be sure kids can’t climb over the fence.
- Protect all access to the pool.
- Install a child-safe pool cover or pool alarm.
- Keep the pool deck safe.
- Be sure the drains are safe.