Many people own a home pool and will most likely spend this, and many more summer weekends splashing in it. So for those of you who are home pool owners or have kids visiting home pools, try to spot the dangers in the photo above.
If you were unable to spot the dangers, here they are:
1. No automatic self-closing, self-latching gate: This kind of gate could eliminate nearly all pool drownings of toddlers. The home should never open into a pool area as children can wander out of the house into the pool before being noticed.
2. Toys in the pool: Remove all toys from the pool after playtime is over; they can tempt children to the edge of the pool or into the water when there is no supervision.
3. Diving board: Many, perhaps most, in-ground home pools are unsafe for diving, even pools fitted with a diving board. The deep end is often too short making head-first entries risky. The best safety practice is to avoid diving in home pools.
4. The alcoholic beverages: Alcohol is involved in about half of swimming drownings. Avoid alcohol when swimming or diving, since even small amounts can increase the risk of injury.
5. Ummm… where are the adults? Whether at home or on vacation, adult supervision is the best protection for children – even those who can swim. This means keeping children in your line of sight at all times, watching them, and staying close to them.
I know from personal experience just how dangerous being an inexperienced swimmer can be. As much fun as pools are, there are many dangers associated with swimming that must be taken into consideration, especially when young swimmers are near pools. It’s important that all young swimmers, experienced and inexperienced, receive ample rest during swim time. Also, keep a close eye on children even if they appear to be safe. I can recall several instances from my childhood, where I was rescued from a fun and seemingly harmless swimming pool, by family members who were alert, attentive and ready to come to my aid once I started to go south! So let’s make sure that all children have memorable summers at our local pools by keeping them safe, healthy and happy.
Thanks to the Canadian Red Cross for portions of this post.