Pool safety is a hot topic every summer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10 people die every day from unintentional drowning. Even more tragic, children ages one to four have the highest drowning rates. What can we do about these alarming statistics?
First it’s important to understand the factors that affect unintentional drowning. The most obvious factor is lack of swimming ability, but even seasoned swimmers are at risk. Use of alcohol and lack of supervision are major factors in unintentional drowning cases. In addition, lack of barriers around pools lead to deaths and serious injuries every year.
The effects of drowning are very serious and can happen to anyone. Unintentional drowning doesn’t always mean death; it can also cause severe brain damage due to the lack of oxygen. In this case, the individual may require round-the-clock nursing care.
Follow these pool safety tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe:
- Provide close supervision for children as well as for those with seizure disorders
- Take professional swimming lessons
- Learn CPR
- Install a four-sided pool fence
- Don’t use the pool during severe weather
- Don’t use air-filled or foam toys as safety devices
- Use a buddy system
- Don’t hold your breath for long periods of time as it may cause you to unintentionally pass out and drown
Finally, if you own a pool it is extremely important that you follow all laws regarding safety due to strict liability. This concept means that a person can be held liable for harm to others, regardless of fault, when they own an inherently dangerous structure such as a pool. Avoid accidents by properly securing your pool and sharing these tips with your family and friends.
Source: cdc.gov, “Unintentional Drowning: Get the Facts”