Summers are here, and it’s time to have some water fun with the family. While most parents understand the basics of pool safety for kids, it takes just a few moments of negligence for an incident to occur.
Let’s look at some California pool statistics to understand this better.
Swimming Pool Accident Statistics
In the year2017 alone, at least 148 children, under the age of 15, lost their lives due to drowning in pools or spas. Fatal pool accidentsare the third-largest cause of unintentional deaths among children below five years in California.
As per this report from the Department of Developmental Sciences (DDS), there were 23 incidents of pool drowning for kids aged 0-5 years in California during 2017 alone. Although the number of victims was less than the previous year’s data, the situation is concerning, and a cause of worry for parents.
Current Laws in California for Pool Safety
The State of California requires specific measures of pool safety for kidsin existing and new swimming pools. Apart from general safety tips, one should follow current laws to make pools safe for every swimmer.
As per theSenate Bill 442, Newman, every new and existing swimming pool must have two of seven child safety barriers for safe access by young children. The safety features recommended for a pool or spa includes:
- Safety pool cover
- Pool enclosure
- Removable mesh fencing
- Exit alarms
- Self-latching devices
- Pool alarms
- Other means of safety meeting the standards defined by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
When obtaining a building permit, equip the pool or spa with at least two of these requirements, and it’s safe to swim.
How to Keep Your Kids Safe Near the Pool?
Despite better judgment and knowledge, fatal pool accidentshappen every year. CDC or Centers for Disease Control mentioned some main factors for drowning among children involve a lack of safety barrier, unsupervised swimming, or lack of swimming skills, among others.
So make sure to exercise caution in keeping your kids safe around a pool:
1. Talk about Pool Safety
A drowning accident is scary. It’s a shocking revelation that nearly 70% of child drowning incidents take place when kids are not even swimming. Hence, parents need to talk about the hazards of a swimming pool with their children.
Children can accidentally tumble into a pool filled with rainwater, wander to the pool, or slip through unlocked pool fence when there’s no adult around. Involve them into the various aspects of pool safety for kids. Talk to your kids about the significance of swimming skills and dangers of going near water without a grown-up.
2. Teach Them How to Swim
With formal swimming lessons, you can reduce the likelihood of drowning by 88%, says swimming pool accident statisticsby theUSA Swimming Foundation. According to the CDC, formal training also helps to prevent drowning for kids aged 1-4 years.
Though shallow pools give a sense of security, it is always better to prepare your kids for unforeseen accidents. They should know to float even after falling in the deeper water without proper gear.
If you are not sure about the right age for your kid to learn swimming, talk to her pediatrician to take guidance. When the time is right, start lessons on the calendar pronto with the help of an experienced trainer.
3. Install Pool Screens
At the time of installing a swimming pool, don’t ignore the importance of adding safety features like pool screens or fences. Children are often supervised and safe near a pool if many members of the family can access it. But, there’s still a possibility of a toddler roving unsupervised near water. If you have a pool barrier, you can easily avoid any fatal pool accidents.
A pool screen is easily removable and a safe alternative for pools in the porch area. If you have a backyard pool, install a pool fence that’s at least four feet high. The barriers should also be sealed or closed when the pool is not in use. Cover your pool with a rigid motorized safety cover even in summers. Also, make sure that safety cover fits the entire surface of the pool without leaving gaps that work as entrapment for kids.
4. Ensure Timely Pool Services
Before preparing your pool for the season, take help from certified professionals to check the pool’s safety barriers. They will carefully inspect safety covers, fencing, self-latching gates, and electrical components to ensure their proper functioning.
Ask your service provider to check for loose screws and bolts that may catch hair or bathing suits of the swimmers. Absent or displaced drain covers can also entrap young swimmers at the bottom of the pool or spa. So, it’s better to stay protected with timely inspections and repairs to assure pool safety for kids.
5. Install Pool Alarms
A safe warning by a pool alarm that buzzes when someone goes near the pool is a big life savior. You can install a pool alarm that screeches whenever a heavy object or person falls into the pool. It results from the waves that set off the alarm. However, you should be near the pool to hear its safety warning.
Also, there are alarm systems that shoot a beam of light around the pool perimeter. The alarm buzzes if your child approaches the water. It sends a warning before the kid falls or drowns in the water. So, it’s a better option if you want complete pool safety for kids.
You should also keep the pool area spick and span to avoid hazardous falls. If the pool surface is slippery, talk to your pool contractor to apply a non-slip coating material. Don’t leave toys near the pool area, and keep the pool water crystal clean with regular maintenance.
Hire certified pool professionals to install layers of protection in and around your pool to enjoy summer swimming without child drowning hazards.