Swimming pools provide countless hours of summertime recreation and family fun. However, pools are a tremendous responsibility and require strict safety practices. According to the National Safety Council, more than 1,000 children drown and 4,000 are hospitalized due to near-drowning every year. The majority of these incidents occur in residential swimming pools.
Tragically, over 60 percent of all children who drown are under age four. In addition, nearly 70 percent of children under age five who have drowned were not expected to be in or near the pool at the time of the drowning; nearly half were thought to be inside the house.
"Unfortunately, when drowning occurs, it happens quickly, which means the window of opportunity for rescuing a potential victim is short," says Allstate Agent Kevin Gwozdz. "To avoid accidents, it's important to discuss pool rules and safety measures with guests and family members before they enter the water and that all adult family members learn CPR."
To help ensure a safe and enjoyable summer at the pool, here are some tips from the Allstate Insurance Company:
All residential pools should be completely enclosed by a fence that stands at least four feet high and has a self-closing and self-latching gate. Avoid fences with vertical bars spaced more than four inches apart and chain-link fences that are easy to climb. Keep patio furniture away from the fence so kids can't use it to boost themselves over the fence.
Never leave your child alone or out of eye contact while he or she is in or near the pool. Children lose consciousness after being submerged in water for only two minutes. Irreversible brain damage occurs after only four to six minutes. It's also a good idea to keep a phone poolside so you won't have to leave children unsupervised to make or answer a call.
Always use approved personal flotation devices, rather than inflatable toys, to keep your child afloat. Don't consider younger children "drown proof" because they've had swimming lessons. Children under the age of three should be kept within arm's reach of an adult while in or around the pool.
Keep basic lifesaving equipment on the pool deck at all times. These include a strong, lightweight pole (10 to 12 feet) and a ring buoy with a line attached. Also keep emergency phone numbers (police, fire, hospital, rescue squad/paramedics, etc.) on hand.
For more information on pool safety or other safety topics, contact Allstate Agent Kevin Gwozdz at 260-436-2787.