Summer is upon us and one of the biggest attractions during this time of year is the swimming pool. Unfortunately, our pools are also one the leading contributors to accidents, injury and death in the home. Children love water and a pool is an inviting place, not only in the summer, but throughout the year for a young child. That is why there are rules and regulations that apply to all residential swimming pools. Fences, alarms, clearance, self-closing gates and latches, are just some of the requirements. Visit your local City website and view the municipal code requirements or call your local City Hall.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has a handout available on-line that gives excellent tips for pool safety. Other sources such as the Red Cross and About.com have resources available on the web as well.
In addition to the physical requirements, remember to always be aware of your young childs where abouts when pools are near. Even if they know how to swim, keep an eye on them. Set rules for your children about not using the pool without adult supervision, keep toys and other inviting objects away from the pool when not in use, always have a phone available near the pool, keep pool gates locked and shut when not using them, do not place ladders or chairs against the outside of a pool fence. Learn basic safety techniques and take a CPR class. Be proactive and prevent accidents before they happen!
Summer time is also a time for outdoor gatherings and hosting a pool party. Never assume your child is being watched. Appoint someone to be the "pool monitor" at all times. Time is not on your side with a drowning victim. Drowning can happen in a matter of seconds. Answering the phone, getting another drink, grabbing a snack, all allow time for a drowning. Be responsible and be always aware of what is happening in the pool! If a child is missing, the first place to look should be the pool. In the event of an emergency, immediately call 9-1-1.