Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner. It’s time to begin planning for summer barbecues, family gatherings and long summer days. Make sure your preparations include pool safety actions to protect your family from tragedy.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) created the Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives campaign to provide public education in order to reduce childhood drownings, non-fatal submersions and entrapments in public and home swimming pools and spas. The campaign was created as a requirement from the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act .
The Pool Safety campaign breaks safety into three categories: behavioral, knowledge based, and equipment.
1. Behavioral: keep close, alert, and watch children at all times
* Keep a phone close by in case of an accident.
* Keep children away from drain pipes, pool drains, and other openings.
* Never leave children unsupervised around a pool even for a second
2. Knowledge-based: learn and practice water safety skills
* Learn to swim
* Learn CPR
* Learn basic life saving skills so you can assist in a pool emergency if needed
3. Equipment- install appropriate safety equipment
* All pools and spas should be enclosed by a four-foot fence with self-closing and self-latching gates.
* If your house is the fourth side of the pool fence install a pool alarm.
* Use compliant drain covers.
* Frequently check that pool and spa covers are in proper working order.
* Keep live saving equipment (pool rings or floats) on the pool deck.
Families that use small portable pools need to take proper pool safety measures as well. Portable pools account for 11 percent of drownings in children 5 and under. Follow these live saving tips to ensure your tots have a fun and safe summer:
1. Empty and put away all portable pools each time your child is finished using the pool.
2. Always supervise your children when they are in and around any pool.
3. Consider putting a fence around portable pools.
4. Teach children to swim and float. Do not consider them “drown proof” if they know how to swim. Accidents can happen at anytime.
5. Notify neighbors, babysitters, and family members about the presence of a pool in your yard.
6. Take a CPR course and frequently review the life saving steps.
7. Install door alarms that go out to the pool in order for you to be alerted that someone has stepped outside. You can never have enough alarms in place.
Stay connected and spread the word:
* Find fun yet informative ways to teach children about pool safety. Visit the Pool Safely website for free kid friendly posters and interactive web-based games, which teach children about pool safety and learning how to swim.
* Follow the Pool Safety campaign on Twitter, check out the Flickr page or visit the YouTube channel.