Do you know what is the second leading injury-related cause of death for children between the ages of 1 to 14?
In fact, three kids die daily due to drowning, claiming more than 900 lives of children each year. That’s for the U.S. alone. A recent report also revealed that 88% of child drowning victims were in fact under the supervision of a guardian. Worse yet, they are usually a family member.
The National Safe Kids Campaign together with the multinational company, Johnson & Johnson, released these alarming number and statistics, which is important for pool owners to consider and to make pool safety a priority, especially since 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year.
The American Red Cross (ARC) suggests pool owners to follow these guidelines in the implementation of pool safety:
- Pools should be secured with proper barriers
ARC recommends a 4- feet high fence to surround your pool. The barrier should be self-closing and with self-latching gate. Pools or hot tubs should be covered especially when not in use and ladders should be out of sight. High-tech pools are now installed with an alarm that automatically goes on to alert whenever someone enters the water.
- Supervise your kids at all times
You should keep an eye on your children at all times when they are in the pool vicinity. If you can’t perform this duty, designate someone who will be responsible on observing your children or anyone who is in the pool. Don’t allow them to swim on their own and as much as possible, provide U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets for safety.
- Make sure that everyone on your household knows how to swim.
Enroll your kids or your family members on swimming courses either from Red Cross or any approved swimming class. This will be for their own benefit and for the benefit of the whole family in the future.
- Maintain cleanliness of your pool
If pools are properly maintained, they will be clean, clear, and free of algae. In order to achieve this, chemical levels should be regularly adjusted to minimize rashes and other infectious skin diseases.
- Enforce rules strictly
Make sure that there are visible signs installed in the pool area such as “no diving, ” “keep away from drain covers,” “do not swim alone,” and you can also include swimming curfews or maximum numbers of swimmers.
- You should be knowledgeable in responding to aquatic emergencies
All members of the family should be knowledgeable in responding to emergencies by enrolling them in water safety and first aid courses through the Red Cross.
Encourage your children to learn the dos and don’ts of pool safety, as well as learn to be able to swim in case of accidental immersion, as this is a lifelong skill they will always appreciate and enjoy. And it just might save a life!