Summertime is a time for pool parties and water fun, but those activities can be dangerous, especially for children. In fact, drowning is the number one killer of children under the age of 5. What makes this statistic even more tragic is that young children, ages 1 to 4, are more likely to drown in a residential swimming pool than any other body of water.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents avoid installing a swimming pool until children are over age 5.
“However, if you own a pool, or use one, it’s important that you take precautions to help keep your children safe,” said Dr. Natalie
Lane, Medical Director of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia Emergency Department. “You should always assign an adult or hire an adult as a lifeguard whose sole job is to monitor activity in the pool.”
Lane offers the following “ABCs” of pool safety. Abide by the Rules: Never leave children alone in or near the pool; Children should be supervised by an adult who can swim and Maintain a clear, unobstructed view of children at all times. Be Prepared: Teach children how to swim; at the very least, they should learn basic water safety tips; Parents and caregivers should learn CPR and rescue breathing. The key to better outcomes in near drowning is bystander CPR; Don’t panic. If your child is missing, look for him or her in the pool first; Formulate an emergency action plan with your children and rehearse each family member’s role and Keep a phone available at the poolside in case of emergencies. Childproof Your Pool: Install a self-latching and self-closing fence around the pool area; Fences should be at least 4 feet high; Keep rescue equipment and emergency phone numbers pool side.
Swimming provides great fun and exercise for kids. But always remember to play it safe during pool time.