Pool Safety Tips to Keep Indiana Children Safe This Summer
Simple Pool Tips To Keep Everyone Safe This Summer
We have been waiting for it – SUMMER! And now that schools are out, we have the start to another beautiful season here in Indiana. Residents and tourists alike are out enjoying the warm weather activities not available during the cold and rainy seasons and lakes are filling up with boats, while people and filling up their backyard pools. And most excited about the water – Hoosier children. The thousands of smiling, sun-kissed faces are ready for their beach vacation, backyard pool parties and trips to the city pool or waterpark with family.
We couldn’t continue this post without mentioning the caution and danger lingering nearby those waters though as every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. In addition, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that each year nearly 300 children younger than five drown in swimming pools and spas and an additional 4,000 children that age visit hospital emergency rooms due to submersion injuries in pools and spas.
In Indiana, we see a moderate number of child drowning deaths each year. In 2016, the state of Indiana recorded a decrease in the number compared to the prior year. Yet, it remains important for parents and others to be aware of the dangers and learn ways they can keep our littlest swimmers safe.
The water is supposed to be a spot for summer fun and relaxation, but it can be deadly, especially for children or non-swimmers. Drowning can happen quickly – in just a matter of seconds. It can also happen quietly, when no one is watching or near the pool.
Important Pool Safety Tips
We have collected the following important pool safety tips from a national public education campaign, Pool Safely, which provides great information to reduce child drownings, non-fatal submersions and entrapments in swimming pools and spas. The Pool Safely campaign was developed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to carry out the requirements of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act), federal legislation mandating new requirements for public pools and spas.
Parents, caregivers, pool owners and operators should review the following safety tips:
- STAY CLOSE, BE ALERT AND WATCH
- Always watch children and never leave them unattended.
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings.
- Have a charged phone close by at all times but don’t allow cellphones or other technology to distract your taking care of swimming children.
- If a child is missing, check the pool first.
- Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors.
- Even if a lifeguard is present, parents and caregivers should still take the responsibility of watching children swim and play in or near the water.
- LEARN AND PRACTICE WATER SAFETY SKILLS
- Learn to swim and make sure kids do as well.
- Know how to perform CPR on children and adults.
- Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency.
- HAVE THE APPROPRIATE EQUIPMENT
- Install a fence of at least four feet in height around the perimeter of the pool or spa.
- Use self-closing and self-latching gates.
- Ensure all pools and spas have compliant drain covers.
- Install an alarm on the door leading from the house to the pool.
- Keep pool and spa covers in working order.
- Have life-saving equipment such as life rings or reaching poles available for use.
Avoid Drain Entrapment
Teach children to not play or swim near drains or suction outlets, especially in spas and shallow pools and don’t enter a pool or spa that has a loose, broken or missing drain cover. And, if you see a broken or loose drain cover, immediately notify a lifeguard and the pool manager.
Hair entanglement: hair can get caught in a faulty drain cover
Limbs: arms, legs and fingers can become lodged in a suction opening
Body: any body part that can cover a drain can be held down by suction
Evisceration: sitting on a faulty drain can cause injuries or disembowelment
Mechanical: jewelry or bathing suits can become entangled in a faulty drain cover
Pool Owners Are Liable
Pool owners are responsible and can be held liable if a swimming accident or drowning incident occurs. It is the owner’s duty to provide a safe environment for both children (and adults) who are using their pool or even for people who live in the neighborhood or surrounding area. If the owner has an unsafe swimming pool or pool area and your child is injured because of their safety negligence, you may be able to sue for compensation to help pay for the costs of your child’s damages.
In general, when children are swimming and playing in or near the water, supervision is critical! Parents should avoid engaging in any distracting activities while supervising children swimming or playing in water – like being on their cell phones. Children should also never be left alone in the vicinity of pools or spas. Adults should be within an arm’s reach in the water at all times. Make sure kids learn to swim and that there is properly fenced pools and self-locking gates in your neighborhood. Always watch kids in and around the water, stay away from drains and learn life-saving skills like CPR. Rescue equipment should always be kept nearby, making sure it does not conduct electricity.
Keeping Children Safe This Summer, Protecting Your Rights
All parents want to keep their children safe, but thousands of accidents occur each year, especially in the summer. 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 is not accessible to children without supervision. Swimming injuries and even drownings are unfortunately common, but this doesn’t mean that they are easy cases to bring to court.
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.