Swimming Pool Safety Tips for Children
Jun 23, 2015 08:43AM ● Published by Dia
By Jeffrey Peebles, M.D. – Southlake Medical Director, Complete Care
The Centers for Disease Control reports that among children ages 1 to 4, drowning is the leading cause of death due to injury. With summer just about in full swing, here are some tips that will help keep your child safe around the swimming pool so that you do not have to take an unexpected trip to your nearest emergency medical facility.
Having an adult to supervise children at all times when they are in or near a pool is vital to helping ensure their safety. If there are any infants or toddlers in the pool, an adult must be in the water with them, always at arm’s reach. Even if the children are older, adults still need to be nearby. You must not be distracted while supervising; turn off the phone, do not take care of household chores, and definitely do not drink alcohol.
You need to establish pool rules and make sure they are strictly followed. For example, do not allow any toys near the pool when the pool is not being used and empty all blow-up toys once everyone is done swimming. Also, do not allow any tricycles or bicycles at poolside and keep all electrical appliances at a safe distance. Make sure no one runs on the pool deck or dives in a pool that is not deep enough.
It is very easy for a small child to get to a pool that is not surrounded by a protective fence. Children can get through a doggy door, through a window or through a door that has been cracked open. Fences need to be climb-resistant, without any type of furniture of other item nearby that could be used to help a child get over. They also need to be at least four feet high with no more than four inches of space between the slats.
Gates should self-latch, self-close and be well maintained, and should only open away from a pool. The latch should be at least 54 inches from the bottom of the gate so that small children cannot open it.
Drains and Filters
Tragically, many children die because they swam too closely to a pool drain or filter and were trapped by the suction. Keep all swimmers away from these areas to eliminate the chances they will be harmed.
By following just a few basic safety precautions, you can make sure everyone stays protected and still has a great time in the pool this summer.
If you or a loved one ever experiences a swimming pool accident or any other type of medical emergency, get in touch with the experts at Complete Care. Contact us online to learn more.
Dr. Jeffrey Peebles, M.D. has an extensive amount of experience in delivering advanced emergency care. He is board certified with the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians/Texas College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Peebles is committed to providing timely, affordable and high-quality medical care to the Southlake community.