Swimming Pool Safety
First, The Bad News:
According to the Pinellas County Medical Director and Medical Examiner, in 2005, there were 23 water submersion incidents in Pinellas County involving children under the age of 14. Among these submersions, 4 were fatal drowning incidents. Of these 23 tragedies, an overwhelming amount—16—occurred in the child’s own backyard swimming pool. Most at risk of drowning are our youngest residents—children ages 1-4. This vulnerable population accounted for 19 of the 23 child near-drowning incidents Pinellas County in 2005.
Now, The Good News:
These tragedies CAN BE PREVENTED!! Below are some tips to keep you, your family and neighbors safe around the water, particularly pools and hot tubs….
More than 75% of the children involved in a drowning or near-drowning had been seen 5 minutes or less before being missed and subsequently discovered in the pool.
Never leave your child alone in or near a swimming pool, hot tub, or wading pool. Carry a cordless telephone to ensure constant supervision without interruptions.
Enclose your pool or spa with four-sided fencing at least five feet high, with self-closing and self-latching gates. Do not count your house as one of the sides.
Use door alarms, including the sliding glass doors. Use pool alarms and pool covers as multiple barriers. Install separate locks at least 5 feet above the floor on all doors leading to the water.
Learn CPR and keep rescue equipment and a telephone at pool side. Seconds count in preventing death or brain damage.
Empty and turn upside down any wading pools not in use.
Remove steps from above-ground pools or spas when not in use.
Teach your child to swim, but do not rely on swim lessons to protect the child from drowning.