Hundreds of small children drown in residential swimming pools each year and thousands more end up in the hospital emergency room after near drowning incidents, with many of them sustaining permanent brain damage. Of course, the main objective most homeowners have in mind when installing a pool in the backyard is to create a fun and enjoyable space for their children to play. Unfortunately, as hard as we try to avoid them, accidents do happen. But there are several common sense swimming pool safety tips that can substantially reduce the risk of accidental drowning.
Pool Fencing – have a child safety pool fence professionally installed that is specifically designed for the prevention of accidental drowning. Make sure the fence includes a self-closing, self-latching gate.
Pool Alarm – install a pool alarm that detects movement in the pool water. This device sounds an alarm when someone or something enters the water or if the alarm is removed from the pool. The alarm can be activated when the pool is not in use and de-activated by an adult when it is time to use the pool.
Floatation Devices – floatation devices are great for helping small children deal with the fear of water, but they should never be used as a substitute for adult supervision.
Pool Cover Danger – never allow children to swim in a pool with a pool cover on or partially removed. Don’t risk the chance that a child will try to swim under the cover and get into a panic or become disoriented, leading to a drowning.
Turn Off Pool Equipment – to avoid any possible entanglement with the pool drain or any suction device in the pool, it is always a good idea to turn the pool equipment off while swimming.
Supervision – even if you follow every one of the tips discussed above, the number one rule that should prevent 99.99 percent of accidental residential swimming pool drowning accidents is Adult Supervision at ALL times. There is no substitute for full-time, deliberate, and focused adult supervision. Make sure to avoid any and all distractions such as phone calls, discussions with neighbors, or attending to other children. If these other issues need attention, ask all swimmers to get out of the pool first.
Every pool owner’s worse nightmare is having a child drown in the swimming pool. A common sense approach to avoiding such a tragedy is to invest the necessary time and money to incorporate modern pool safety measures into your backyard swimming pool environment. Also, establish and post strict safety rules to be followed by all swimmers and review these rules each and every time friends and family visit for a swim.