Swimming Pool Safety

There is nothing like the refreshing feeling of entering a swimming pool on a hot summer day. But we all must be aware of the potential danger that exists—and the importance of being careful to avoid such danger.

Parents should be aware that drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children 5 years of age and younger. Drowning, which can happen in as little as one inch of water, is usually quick and silent. According to the USA’s National Safe Kids Campaign, a child will lose consciousness two minutes after submersion, with irreversible brain damage within four to six minutes.

Mirage Pools encourages everyone “Play It Safer Around Water”!

Young Children

Parents should be aware that drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children 5 years of age and younger. Drownings under 1 most often occur in a bathtub, while from 1-5, drownings most often occur in a swimming pool. In addition, in 10 states, drowning surpasses all other causes of death to children age 14 and under. Drowning, which can happen in as little as one inch of water, is usually quick and silent. According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, a child will lose consciousness two minutes after submersion, with irreversible brain damage within four to six minutes.

One way to help prevent drownings is to require that swimmers, especially children, obey pool rules. Following are some pool rules that I would encourage you to consider for young swimmers:

Pool Rules for Young Children:

Never go into the backyard without an adult.
No running around the pool.
Never push anyone into the pool.
Never hold anyone under the water.
Don’t cry for help unless it is an emergency.
No diving unless off of a diving board.
Always use floaties (or another type of floatation device).

Although those are good rules, it is also important that pool owners make a commitment to do the following:

Make sure that your fence and gate meets code (check your local pool ordinance) and stays in compliance.
Keep a telephone outside when we outside enjoying the pool.
Keep all toys (bikes, wagons, etc.) away from the pool.
Teach your children to swim and spend time with them in the pool.
Do not allow swimming in an unlighted pool at night.
Learn CPR.

There are many safety devices available for swimming pools-alarms, safety covers, and safety fences-and all are somewhat effective in helping keep your pool safe.

THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR ADULT SUPERVISION.

This statement has never been more true than it is when comes to preventing drowning, whether it be in a bathtub or a swimming pool. Adult supervision means paying attention-according to the Orange County, California Fire Authority-of all preschoolers who drown, 70 percent are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning. Many drownings occur at parties and parents get distracted. We suggest either hiring a lifeguard for parties or at least have the adults take assigned times to supervise the pool.

A very good way to communicate some of these pool safety tips to children is to read them the book “Anthony Mouse Goes Swimming”, written by Elizabeth C. Powhida. This book is out of print and has become a collector’s item, but you are more than welcome to use our copy for reading it to your children. In addition, there is a web site that does a very good job of introducing children to the importance of pool safety-it is www.poolkids.com. It is an interactive web site that is an excellent place for young children to learn about pool safety.

Swimming is an excellent activity that your family and friends can enjoy together, but we must always have respect for the potential danger that exists.
Adding just one extra safety step around the water can reduce your risk.

Following are some suggestions that can help prevent drowning:

Be informed:

Drowning is a quick and silent killer.
Backyard pools & spas need fences & alarms.
Coast guard approved life jackets save lives.
Alcohol and water activities are a bad mix.

Be alert:

Danger zones are not only pools & spas: they are also bathtubs, buckets, toilets, & lakes.
Supervise with your Eyes. Always be a water watcher.
Reach and throw- Don’t go!
Remember: Summer sun, water fun, if trouble comes, call 911.

Be prepared:

Learn to swim at any age.
Learn CPR for the family.
Keep safety equipment nearby.

For more information on drowning prevention and safety please explore some of the following links:

Canadian Red Cross
Pool & Hot Tub Council of Canada Safety Information
Healthy Canadian
Canadian Family Safety
USA Government Safe Pool Resource
The Association of Pool and Hot Tub Professionals Safety Information