Drownings can happen quickly and quietly. It is key not to be distracted by activities such as texting or talking on the phone, mowing the yard or reading. Before you jump in the water, here is some information and best practices for a fun, but safe summer.
Federal safety statistics show drowning as the fifth leading cause of unintentional death for all ages and leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4.
For every child less than 15 years old who dies from drowning in a pool, another 10 receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries –2010 Report. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Formal swimming lessons and water-safety skills training can start at a young age. There are even baby courses available as young as 6 months! Stay with in an arm’s length away when a young or inexperienced swimmer is in or around the water.
Participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by as much as 88% among young children aged 1 to 4 years. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 2009;163(3):203-10.
Even in a pool, inexperienced swimmers and young children may benefit from wearing properly fitted life jackets. Life jackets are recommended over “water wings,” “noodles,” or inner-tubes.
Pool Maintenance Tips:
- Up-keep and maintenance is a must as well. Be sure to inspect you pool for proper storage and chemical instructions recommended by the pool chemical manufacturer.
- Keep the pool area clear of glass bottles, toys or other potential accident hazards.
- Check the deck for safety hazards like broken underwater light covers, broken drain covers, protruding nails, loose boards, etc.
- Check the pool stair and slide handrails and deck railing to ensure structural integrity from someone leaning or grabbing it.
- Above ground pools check metal supports for any rust or deterioration. These may indicate areas where the pool could rupture or a person could be injured.
- Check for signs of wear and tear in areas where pipes or other items may have penetrated the liner (e.g. skimmers, hoses, etc.).