A swimming pool can be a fantastic tool for getting exercise, keeping cool and having fun. Unfortunately, they can also be hazardous, particularly to children who do not understand proper water safety. While Olympic swimmers display the pinnacle of grace and power in the swimming pool, every swimmer starts out in the same position. New swimmers are vulnerable and steps must be taken to provide them a safe atmosphere in which to learn.
Swimming lessons are an important safety tool. Teaching a child to swim can save his or her life in the future. Until a child has learned to swim, every moment in or near water requires careful observation and vigilance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of injury death for children between the ages of 1 and 4. Children in that age group should not be left untended in or near water for even a moment. For very small children, bathtubs, sinks, ponds, lakes and swimming pools are not safe places. Older children must be watched carefully around swimming pools where horseplay and fun may cause them to make unsafe choices.
If you own a pool, you need to fence in the pool with a self-closing or self-latching gate. You should learn CPR, as should any adult living in a home with a swimming pool. Young children should never be in or around the pool without an adult watching them. If a child is missing, the first place you should look is the swimming pool.
Swimming is an excellent activity, enjoyed by countless Americans. With a few simple steps, you can make sure that your pool is a source of enjoyment, and not the site of a tragedy.
Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “All Eyes On the Pool,” 27 July 2012