Water Safety: Swimming Pool Hazards and Children
Before you open your swimming pool for the season, or if you are thinking of having a pool installed, you should review the basic safety procedures. Even if you have had that pool for a number of years, your family should review the procedures to make sure that children don't become victims of a water tragedy. Especially where children are concerned, it only takes a moment for something to go wrong and for tragedy to strike. Often this will happen when those who are designated to supervise the children at the pool become lax in their duties. People who get too used to pools will often forget about the dangers involved. Each year, many children lose their lives because they are left alone near a swimming pool.
Even children older than toddlers should not be left alone. Resist your first impluse to respond to the summons if your phone rings or someone knocks at the door. Nothing is more important than the safety of your children. If you leave them alone, even if only for a moment, at the side of the pool to attend to some other matter, you are endangering their lives. There should be no choide at all about which is the more important to attend to.
If receiving phone calls is important to you during the time that you're by the pool with the kids, then have a phone installed near the pool or bring a portable phone along. In the case of someone coming to the door or calling you from some other point around your home, such as over the hedge, from the driveway or around the front of the house, all you have to do is call for them to join you by the pool. There's no need to leave the pool unless there's an emergency, and, even then, the children should be taken out of the pool and either brought along as you step away, or left with another adult. A swimming pool should always be separated from the house by a fence, and some towns are now even making that a law. The fence needs to be at least 4 feet in height and must enclose the entire pool area. Too many tragedies have occurred when toddlers wander away from the house and fall into the pool. To prevent this, the gate to the pool must be self-closing and the self-latching system must be beyond the reach of young children. You should also have proper rescue equipment , such as a life preserver and a hooked tool that will aid in retrieval. Do not allow children to use toys as life preservers. When they are in the pool, they should wear approved life vests rather than pool toys or safety gear.
These are made of thin plastic that can puncture easily and put the child's life in jeopardy. Even if you are watching, they could drown before emergency help can arrive. Distance can be very important, and the general rule is to always stay within an arm's length of children in or near the pool. Another wise rule to follow is never to leave toys in the pool once the children have left. Too often, they are tempted to retrieve them and will end up falling into the water when you are no longer watching. Unless they are able to perform CPR, you should not give anyone the responsiblity of supervising your children in a pool. Classes are given at schools and community organizations before the beginning of the swimming season, and anyone who is interested can find a class. Take one of these classes yourself and have everyone who will watch your children do the same. Put your safety procedures in place, and you can relax and enjoy a safe, fun summer. ZZZZZZ .
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