Protecting your child from drowning in a swimming pool

Various independent studies have shown that drowning is one of the top reasons for children’s deaths and at the top of the places where drowning can occur is the backyard swimming pool. Drowning can happen literally in the blink of an eye, the phone rings, you go to answer it and when you return shortly, disaster has struck. The common factor is children’s swimming pool deaths is simply lack of supervision.

Most of the Long Island pool companies are painfully aware of these statistics and they have a series of suggestions that they always give to people who are having a pool built. Across the country, there are approximately 900 children who die annually in a backyard pool. In many other cases, the child is saved from drowning but ends up with a lifelong disability caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain while submerged. As drowning often is not accompanied by any cry for help or even a great deal of splashing, many children die within earshot of their parents, drowning is definitely a silent killer. If you see a child struggling in a pool, assume the worst and get the child out of the pool immediately. Immediate action is an absolute must; the difference between a normal recovery from the shock of almost drowning to having permanent brain damage is only a matter of moments.

Many of the recommendations that are given by Long Island pool companies are common sense, but everything bears repeating when it comes to child safety;

The most basic precaution is to provide a barrier between the pool and the child. A fence must be erected around the entire pool area, in most states this is mandated by law. The fence should be a minimum of four feet high and be of such construction that a child cannot climb over it. The gates should be self closing and self latching.

If the pool area can be reached from the home, such as through a set of sliding glass patio doors, make sure that the doors remain closed and locked if you are working around the house and the child is unattended inside.

Never leave a child unsupervised. This is the primary cause of death happening in a pool. If you use a baby sitter, make sure the sitter is mature and able to swim.

If you use precautions, have life saving equipment handy and instill the dangers of the pool into your children, you can have a pool and few worries.


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