Pool Accident Facts And Figures: Tips To Improve Summer Safety
Now that the warm weather is finally here, many people such as yourself are preparing for some fun in the sun. It is estimated that roughly 21 million people owned their own pool, spa, or hot tub as of the spring of 2015. So if you are among the millions of pool owners, there are some key facts, figures, and tips you need to know to make your summer both safe and enjoyable, particularly if you have children.
Limit Easy Access
As it currently stands, drowning is among the leading cause of death and injury for children between the ages of 1 and 4. It is not unheard of for a child to slip out the backdoor when a parent isn't looking, and a child who wanders out into the backyard is at an increased risk of drowning if they have easy access to a pool. For instance, a child may either fall or jump into a pool if there is nothing to block their entry.
The installation of pool fencing is just one way to ensure proper pool safety this summer. Keep in mind that pool fencing should be used no matter the type of pool you have. Whether you own an in-ground, above ground, or inflatable pool, you should always ensure that you have the proper fencing in place to keep children safe.
Adequate pool fencing should surround all sides of the pool and should stand at least 4 feet high to prevent children from climbing over. For that reason, you should avoid using chain link fencing. Instead, opt for wrought iron fence sections with ornamental designs as they will often prove harder to climb. Make sure the fence sections are 4 inches apart or less so that small children cannot slip through the gaps.
By adding a fence and limiting easy access to your pool, you can control when your family enjoys swim time, therefore ensuring that your children are supervised at all times while they are in the pool. Make sure you speak with a professional contractor. A contractor, such as those at York Fence, can provide you with the proper installation of a pool fence in order to guarantee safety and compliance with any local ordinances your city may have.
Look for Hidden Dangers
Despite your best efforts to supervise your children in the pool, hidden dangers can make your task a daunting one. For instance, your pool likely houses a hidden danger that can easily lead to an unnecessary drowning. Your pool's drain creates suction in order to pull water from your pool. When the drain is blocked, the amount of suction tends to increase.
The force of suction created by your pool's drain can easily trap hair, feet, and little hands. If any part of your child becomes trapped in the drain, it can lead to drowning. It is especially important to also realize that suction on any part of the body, such as the hands and feet, will cause the tissues in that area of the body to swell, therefore making it harder to free the child from this scenario.
In order to prevent this type of drowning, it is highly recommended that you invest in a drain cover. Check your drain cover regularly to make sure there are no cracks in it. Ensure that you purchase a drain cover that will remain securely in place so that your child cannot remove it. Furthermore, you should know how to turn off the pump for your pool in the event that your child becomes trapped in the pool's drain.
Never Make Assumptions
It is not uncommon for parents to make dangerous assumptions when it comes to pool time fun. For instance, a parent may feel somewhat relaxed and relieved if their child is wearing a set of floaties, such as arm wings. Unfortunately, arm floaties, noodles, and tubes do not protect your child against the threat of drowning.
In fact, flotation devices such as those mentioned above can instill a sense of false hope in both you and your child. As an added fact, flotation devices my hinder your child's ability to learn how to swim properly. Your best bet is to opt for a snug fitting life jacket and swim classes in order to protect your child against the threat of drowning. If your child does use floaties, you should try to get them to stop before the age of 6. Experts agree that floaties become a crutch for a child who is 6 or older.
Another dangerous assumption to make is assuming your child knows how to swim just because he or she can do the dog paddle. Dog paddling is not an acceptable form of swimming, simply because the swimmer is likely to wear out easily, thus causing panic and possible drowning. A decent swimmer should know swimming techniques such as the breast stroke.