Summer just wouldn’t be summer without relaxing by the pool and throwing pool parties with friends and family. Many of us enjoy swimming – it is one of the most popular sports activities in the United States; not only for its health benefits, but it is also an excellent way to have fun with your loved ones. However, safety should always be on your mind, especially when children are involved.
Every day approximately 10 people die from drowning and two of them are children 14 years or younger. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S. Of drowning victims who survive and are treated in emergency rooms, more than half are hospitalized or transferred for further care. They often experience brain damage, which can cause memory problems, learning disabilities, or permanent loss of basic functioning (or permanent vegetative state).
Dr. Richard Kang, medical director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Dignity Health Northridge Hospital said about 350 people under the age of 5 drown every year. Kang said lack of swimming ability, adequate fencing and close supervision increase a child’s risk for drowning. “The common story is that they were left alone for no less than 1 or 2 minutes and are found submerged,” Kang said.
As everyone heads to the pool this summer, emergency room doctors would like to remind parents to be cautious while taking a dip.
Stay safe this Summer Season
Here are seven ways to keep summer pool time safe, according to John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at UL, the safety consultation and certification company.
1) KIDS NEED ADULT SUPERVISION
Designate an adult to be in charge of watching kids in the pool. And no, leaving them with older kids does not count. “The teenagers — they’re playing too,” Drengenberg said.
2) THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE FOR SAFETY DEVICES
Kids (or adults) can fall off pool floats. And inflatable “water wings” can puncture and deflate. “Those are not safety devices,” Drengenberg said. Instead, purchase life jackets and replace them when they become worn or torn.
3) KEEP A PHONE FULLY CHARGED — AND HANDY — BY THE POOL
If someone needs medical attention for drowning or another accident, having a phone handy means no wasted time running to the house to find it.
4) EMPTY KIDDIE POOLS
Small children can easily drown in shallow water because they do not have the upper body strength to pull themselves up as adults do. Leaving a kiddie pool full of water in the backyard makes falling in and drowning easy.
5) INSTALL A FENCE AND A GATE AROUND LARGER POOLS
Some places require that pools have these, so it’s best to check local regulations. But even if it is not required, a fence with a gate makes it harder for small children to gain access to a pool unsupervised.
6) WATCH THE ALCOHOL
Pool parties and cook-outs often involve drinking. And excessive drinking can contribute to a drowning in a host of ways, including a failure to keep a watchful eye on little ones.
7) CURB THE HORSEPLAY
Your parents probably taught you this one way back when. Diving and showing off with a cannonball or a backflip can be dangerous for less-experienced swimmers — or the people around them. Best to leave it to the professionals.
Swimmers can prevent drowning by learning swimming skills
Here are some places where you could get some Swimming Lessons:
- Your local YMCA
- Connect the Dots Swim in Thousand Oaks, CA
- The Water Whisperer in Woodland Hills, CA
- Conejo Recreation & Park District in Thousand Oaks, CA
Remember: the most important thing for adults to do is to keep a close watch on the water when kids are swimming. You do not want your day of fun to turn into a day of disaster. STAY SAFE and enjoy the summer season!
Please Be Sure to Read the Following References:
“7 ways to play it safe at the pool this summer”, Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 07 June 2017. http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-pool-safety-20160617-snap-story.html
“Healthy and Safe Swimming Week 2017”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 07 June 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthyswimming/index.html
“Summer Pool Safety”, Miller Injury Attorneys. Retrieved 07 June 2017. http://www.millerinjury.com/blog/2017/june/summer-pool-safety/
“Tips to keep your child safe while swimming this summer” Eyewitness News. Retrieved 07 June 2017. http://abc7.com/health/tips-to-keep-your-child-safe-while-swimming-this-summer/2057209/
“Tips for Keeping Kids Safe in Swimming Pools”, Live Science. Retrieved 07 June 2017. http://www.livescience.com/54786-tips-for-keeping-kids-safe-in-swimming-pools.html