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Pool Safety Season is in Full Swing

Steve Wagner

It’s that time of year—finally! Summer is in full swing, and many Indiana residents are out enjoying the warm weather activities not available to us during the cold and rainy seasons. There are boats on every lake, and people swimming wherever they find a good spot.

Unfortunately, these fun summer activities often bring additional dangers, especially in state such as Indiana where the activities do not occur year-round. The joy of the season and the novelty of activities such as swimming and boating can create a lack of attention to the dangers. This is especially true for children, who as a group are already more likely to underestimate danger while swimming. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found drowning to be the NUMBER ONE cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 4.

Nearly 400 children drown each year in pools or spas, and another 5,000 are injured seriously enough to require emergency assistance. In Indiana, we see a moderate number of child drowning deaths each year, and it remains important for parents and others to be aware of the dangers and ways they can keep the children of Indiana safe.

A very large majority of children who drown are under the age of 5, making up 76% of drowning victims. In addition, boys account for 71% of all drowning deaths of children aged 0-14. Though in general, a huge proportion of drowning victims are under the age of five, the data is clear that older African-American children are also significantly at risk. For children between the ages of five and nineteen, African American children are 5.5 times more likely to drown in a pool than their white counterparts.

Important Pool Safety Tips

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following safety tips for parents and those who have swimming pools on their properties:

  • Supervision is critical! Children should never be left alone in the vicinity of pools or spas. For children under five, it is important for an adult to be within arm’s reach in the water at all times.
  • Use approved life vests. Inflatable swimming aids, such as floaties, are popular, but are not recommended. They create a false sense of safety for both parents and children and do not provide the same level of protection as life vests.
  • Swimming lessons for children can be helpful but should never be assumed to have “drown-proofed” a child. Even a strong swimmer can find him or herself in a bad situation, especially as children overtire themselves with summer activities.
  • All pools, including above-ground and inflatable pools, should have a fence on all four sides of the pool. Minimum height should be four feet, and they should not have openings through which children can enter the pool.
  • Pool gates should open out from the pool and should have latching and/or locking devices that are out of reach of children. Pet doors should not be installed in pool enclosure fences, as children have used them to gain entry to pools and drowned.
  • Rescue equipment should always be kept nearby. Take care to ensure your rescue equipment does not conduct electricity

All parents want to keep their children safe, but thousands of accidents occur each year. Sometimes the injuries or deaths are true accidents, but in many cases, pool owners have not taken the necessary precautionary steps to ensure the pool in not accessible to children without supervision. If your child is injured or drowns in a pool, Wagner Reese can help you find justice and make the environment safer for other children. Call us today for a no-cost, risk-free consultation: (888) 204-8440.

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