Child pool safety
Child pool safety options
Sadly, the number of pool drownings in Arizona is nearly twice the national average. Our children are at risk and we need to be aware of the dangers that are upon us. To them, water is fun, sparkly and even mysterious. Even children who learn to swim are at risk of having an accident.
In order to reduce this number, parents need to take action now so another “accident” doesn’t leave another family devastated. Follow these steps to keep your children safe in the pool this summer.
Poolside Adult in Charge: Whistleblower
It is weird to even consider that some of the drownings happen right in plain sight, when everyone is in the pool. If you mix together alcohol, cell phones, other distractions along with no parent being put in charge, chaos can easily ensue.
When family and friends get together to enjoy the pool, make someone always in charge of pool safety. Simply get a whistle and whoever is the designated in charge person, they wear that around their neck. If that person needs a break, they hand it off to the next adult in charge. Someone then is always in charge and the group will know who it is.
Since children ages 1-4 are most at risk for drowning, be sure you take extra precaution with them. Do not let them get out of arm’s reach of an adult. Do not rely on toys like floaties, wings or noodles to keep your children safe.
If you have children living in your home under the age of six, Arizona law requires you to have a fence around your pool. Specifications can be found here. The barrier must be at least 5 foot high, with no openings within the fence greater than 4 inches.
A barrier around your pool will be a good deterrent, but kids are crafty and can find ways to get over them. Be sure to give your child no other incentive to hop the fence. Put away all pool toys, be sure the pool gate remains locked at ALL times, and be sure to block access to any hot tubs as well. Also, be sure your pool fence is clear of benches, chairs or other objects that can be pushed up against it. For some children if there is a will, there is a way.
If you are worried about the price of a pool fence, you can apply for a free pool fence. SRP has established a Pool Fence Program and since 2001, it has installed over 800 fences for families in Phoenix.
There’s always the possibility of a child sneaking into the pool area and getting into trouble. Any child is capable of this. Getting a pool alarm is your best defense against this type of situation.
Fire Department Capt. in Phoenix, Jake Van Hook, said firefighters regularly see distressing drowning situations that could have been prevented.
“One parent was in the bedroom watching some television, the other was in the living room with the kids,” Van Hook said. “Neither realized that the child opened up the patio door and went into the pool.”
To prevent this, look into different types of pool alarms. Each has their own unique features, so find something that suits your family’s needs.
It never hurts to teach your kids to respect pools of water and have them learn about pool safety. You can opt to teach them yourself or find a place that offers swim lessons. There are also places that come direct to you and teach your children in the comfort of their own pool.
Keep in mind that this not a fail safe, and you should still consider the other methods listed above. Just because a child knows how to swim doesn’t mean they can’t drown.
Learning CPR could come in handy and is never a waste of time to learn. You could save someone’s life by learning how to resuscitate them. Get hands on training in Phoenix before you regret not doing so.
There are many things you must do in order to make your pool safe for you and your family. This is definitely an area where corners cannot be cut. Put your family first and make sure you are doing everything in your power to not become another statistic.