Did you know 69% of young children who drown were not expected to be in or near water? It only takes a moment. A child or weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to reply to a text, check a fishing line or apply sunscreen. Death and injury from drownings happen every day in pools, hot tubs, at the beach or in oceans, lakes, rivers and streams, bathtubs, and even buckets.
Pools can be a lot of fun, but they can also present a lot of hazards. Make sure pools have the proper safety features in place to help reduce the risk of injury.
Pool Safety Guidelines
- Prevent access to the water when the pool is not in use.
- Install and maintain barriers such as four-sided fencing.
- Use locks/alarms for windows and doors.
- Remove all toys from the pool area that might attract children to the pool when not in use with adult supervision.
- Ensure swimmers know the pool depth. Depth markers can help children and parents know where it’s safest to swim. Depth markers can also prevent diving injury. No diving in water less than 5 feet!
- Swim where a lifeguard is on duty. If a lifeguard is not available, be familiar with lifesaving equipment and how to use it. Know the address of where you are in case you need to call 911.
- Swim with a buddy.
- Stay away from pool chemicals and pool chemical rooms. While many pool chemicals help keep us safe when in the water, they can cause harm if used improperly.
- Don’t use alcohol or drugs (including certain prescription medications) before or while swimming, diving or supervising swimmers.
These actions will help your family avoid emergencies – and help you respond if an emergency occurs:
- Paying close attention to children or weak swimmers you are supervising in or near water.
- Knowing the signs that someone is drowning.
- Knowing ways to safely assist a drowning person, such as “reach or throw, don’t go”.
- Knowing CPR and first aid.
Know What to Do in an Emergency
If a child is missing, check the water first: seconds count in preventing death or disability! Alert the lifeguard, if one is present.
Recognize the signs of someone in trouble and shout for help. A swimmer needs immediate help if they:
- Are not making forward progress in the water.
- Are vertical in the water but unable to move or tread water.
- Are motionless and face down in the water.
What to Do in an Emergency
- Rescue and remove the person from the water (without putting yourself in danger).
- Ask someone to call emergency medical services (EMS). If alone, give 2 minutes of care, then call EMS.
- Begin rescue breathing and CPR.
- Use an AED if available and transfer care to advanced life support.