Every day, about 10 people die of unintentional drowning in the U.S., 2 of whom are 14 years old or younger. Recently Clean Earth Restorations was given some pool safety information that we’d like to pass along to our San Diego community. Jasmine Dyoco of educatorlabs.org sent us a list of useful websites with important information about pool and spa safety. Below is a list of important things you can do to keep your family and friends safe while using your pool. Do you do all of them?
Pool Safety Equipment
- Make sure your pool or spa has a safety fence around it with self-closing and -latching gates, if possible a 4-sided fence (that separates the pool completely from the residence)
- Ensure that your pool or spa has working drain covers and fix or replace any covers that become damaged. Uncovered drains may draw in and trap small fingers, toes, hair or clothing.
- Use a lockable cover on your spa.
- Make sure any covers that you use on your pool or spa are in perfect working condition (no rips, holes, or weak areas).
- Install pool and gate alarms to alert you when someone approaches or uses the pool.
- Always watch children when they are in or near water. Unfortunately, many drownings occur during parties when adults are near the pool but not paying attention.
- Do not rely on pool toys as flotation devices. Only life jackets should be relied on for flotation and even still, supervision is necessary.
- Always check the pool or spa first if a child is missing.
- Make sure all people who use the pool or spa know the pool rules.
- Enforce the “no diving” in the shallow end of the pool and make sure that pool users know where in the pool that area starts.
- Prohibit alcohol while using the pool — the CDC reports that “among adolescents and adults, alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of deaths associated with water recreation, almost a quarter of ED visits for drowning, and about one in five reported boating deaths.”
- Never allow dunking / holding others under water.
- Do not allow people to hyperventilate (which may cause them to black out while in the water).
Pool Accident Readiness
- Learn (or re-learn) CPR. Knowing CPR has been shown to save lives and improve the outcome of drowning victims.
- Stock and keep a first-aid kit in close range of the pool. Include a pair of scissors to use to cut hair, clothing or pool covers.
- Keep a cell phone at hand whenever you or your family use the pool/spa, you can call for help more quickly in the event of an accident/emergency.
- Teach your children to swim, and learn how to swim yourself. You may be the person who can save them if they need help.
Not sure if you are doing all you can? Or want more information to be better prepared or to pass on to a friend. These websites are full of useful information:
CDC: Unintentional Drowning, Get the Facts
Pool Safely: Staying Safe in Residential Pools
PoolCenter.com: Lifeguard Skills for Pool Owners
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