Beating that summer heat can be tough, but visiting your local pool can be a great way to stay cool and have a good time. Unfortunately, swimming pools can be exceedingly dangerous for young children if you aren’t careful. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of accident-related death for children between the ages of 1 and 4, and an average of 356 children under the age of 14 die each year in swimming pool drowning incidents.
Thankfully, there are quite a few things parents can do to help keep their kids safe around swimming pools.
Before you head to the pool this summer, make sure you follow these key safety tips:
1. Keep Young Children within Reach
Children of all ages should be supervised around a pool or spa, even if they know how to swim. However, toddlers and young children need more than just supervision, they need close attention. Stay close to young children, close enough to reach out and touch. If your child does slip in or if their head dips below the water, you need to be close enough to pull them out immediately.
2. Teach Your Children How To Swim
Enrolling your child in swimming lessons can greatly increase their chances of surviving a swimming pool incident. As much as we try to avoid these accidents, they can happen, and if your child does find him/herself in the pool, the ability to stay afloat or swim to the side could prove lifesaving. Remember, swimming lessons aren’t just for older children, even toddlers and babies can learn how to hold their breath and stay afloat.
3. Fence in Your Pool
Creating a protective barrier around your pool is an absolute necessity, even if you don’t have children of your own. But, as a parent, you know that children can be quite fast and stealthy, and if you turn away even for a moment, they might find their way out the back door and into the backyard, unsupervised. Retaining a barrier around your pool can help prevent children from falling into the pool, even if they do somehow wander into the yard. Also, consider self-closing gates, and make sure the fence stands at least 4 feet tall.
4. Don’t Just Supervise, Be Attentive
Being in the pool area with your children isn’t enough, even if things seem relatively safe. Children, even ones who can swim, can drown in a matter of minutes, so make sure you are paying attention to what they’re doing at all times. An overtired child can accidently gulp water, or they may slip on the outside of the pool and hit their head causing loss of consciousness.If you are paying attention, you can promptly respond and reduce the chance of serious injury or worse.
5. Floaties Aren’t Enough
Pool noodles, rafts, water wings, and other floaties aren’t a proper substitute for a Coast Guard Approved life vest. If your child isn’t a strong swimmer, put them in a proper life vest until they’re able to keep their head above water easily. And, even with a life vest, remember that they still need constant supervision.
6. Be Ready To Respond in an Emergency
One of the best ways to avoid an emergency is to prepare for the worst-case-scenario. Even if you’ve done everything to prevent a swimming pool accident, make sure you know what to do if something should go wrong. Attend a CPR course and print out CRP cards to keep around your pool area. Also, keep a phone nearby to call 911 whenever your family goes outside to hang out by the pool, just in case. Responding quickly can help prevent a drowning accident from becoming fatal.
Let Our Firm Help You
If your child was involved in a swimming pool accident caused by someone’s negligence or mistake, our firm wants to help you. If the accident took place at a poorly maintained community pool, if an adult failed to supervise or monitor your child, or if your child wandered into an open property with an unfenced pool, you may be able to pursue a claim against the liable party for the resulting damage. We know how difficult it can be to handle these types of cases, which is why our firm wants to make the process as simple and quick as possible. If your family is suffering after a swimming accident, we want to help.
Ready to get started? Contact Hoyt & Blewett PLLC today to discuss your case with our attorneys