We’ve all heard them: there is certainly no shortage of pool-related horror stories. Unfortunately, drowning is the #1 cause of death for children under the age of five in Florida, Arizona, and California and the #2 cause in over a dozen other states.
Pool Safety for Kids & Families
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all families with children under the age of five install a 4-foot-tall (or more) pool fence or guard (many states, such as Florida, already have pool fence / pool barrier laws in place) around all sides of the pool (or that they hold off on pool building until the children are over age five). Watch a video on pool safety tips.
Other key pool safety tips include these:
- Never, even for a split second, leave young children unattended in or around a pool. Keep a phone by the pool for emergency calls and also for answering (many drownings have occurred while the person supervising ran into the house to pick up a ringing phone.)
- The pool fence should completely separate the pool from the house and play area. It should also self-close and self-latch, with latches higher than the children's reach.
- Do not let your child use or rely on air-filled toys and "swimming aids" such as “floaties.”
- Anyone watching young children around a pool should learn CPR and be able to rescue a child if needed.
- Toys should always be removed from the pool after use so that young children are not tempted to reach for them.
- Children should be trained in water survival from the time they are able to walk or crawl to the pool. That said, do not consider a child “drown-proof” just because he or she can swim or has had swimming lessons.
- If a child is missing, the pool should always be checked first, as each second counts when it comes to preventing drowning.
- Don’t leave the pool fence open or proper open at any time, even for a second or two