Swimming Pool Safety Refresher
Every summer, tragic stories of childhood drownings make the nightly news. In fact, according to the National Safety Council, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths in children. Each year, there are 1,000 drowning deaths and 4,000 hospitalizations for near-drowning.
It can happen suddenly and without warning, but close supervision and strict adherence to pool safety rules can prevent these deaths and injuries. As part of First Aid and Community Safety Week, June 20-26, the National Safety Council encourages parents to establish and adhere to strict pool safety rules, including:
- Never leave your child alone near the water.
- Always use personal flotation devices approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, rather than inflatable toys, to keep your child afloat.
- Remove toys from in and around the pool when you’re not using them; toys can attract young children to the pool.
- With above-ground pools, secure and lock steps and ladders leading into the pool, or remove them.
- Have a first-aid kit, telephone and emergency phone number nearby.
In addition, pool owners without children of their own should take steps to protect neighborhood children, such as:
- Erect a pool barrier, such as a fence or wall. Avoid chain-link fences that children can hop over or fences with vertical bars that children can slip through.
- Install fence latches that are self-closing, self-latching, and out of a child’s reach.
- Install inexpensive door alarms on entrances.
- Consider investing in pool alarms that sound when anything weighing over 10 pounds falls into the pool.
The Health Alliance Emergency Departments, which include The Christ Hospital, The University Hospital, The St. Luke Hospitals (East and West), The Jewish Hospital and The Fort Hamilton Hospital, wish you a safe and healthy summer.
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