With temperatures expected to be extremely high next week, many will be flocking to lakes, pools, and other waterways to help beat the heat. As always experts are asking everyone to practice water safety in and around water. 69% of young children who drown were not expected to be in or near water. Keeping pools safe can be especially helpful with the heatwave coming in.
Acting Illinois state Fire Marshal Dale Simpson says that it is important to keep all gates closed and the area around pools secure when you are not using them. SImpson says if you or your neighbors have children, talk to them about safety in and around pool areas.
Some startling statistics show that children younger than 5, 87% of drowning fatalities happen in home pools or hot tubs, and each day, approximately two children under the age of 15 die from drowning. Children ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rates, and most happen in swimming pools. Drowning can happen anytime, but especially when children gain unsupervised access to pools. Fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury death behind motor vehicle crashes for children ages 1-14 according to the CDC.
Pool chemicals like chlorine are needed to protect health however, if you mishandle them, it can cause serious injuries. Pool chemical injuries lead to about 4,500 US ER visits each ear, and over ? of these preventable injuries are in children or teens.
The USA Swimming Foundation, in collaboration with the CPSC’s Pool Safety campaign, between Memorial Day and Labor Day 2019, reported at least 150 children younger than age 15 fatally drowned in swimming pools or spas, which is up by two drownings from 2018. The US Swimming Foundation statistics show formal swimming lessons reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning by 88%.
Some tips to keep children safer in and around pools include installing a four sided fence with a self-closing gate around the pool, make sure the gate is locked, and keep the pool and deck clear of toys after leaving the pool. Always ensure children swim with an adult or buddy, designate a watcher to supervise children at all times, don’t leave children unattended even for a moment, and learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim and learn CPR on children and adults.
Take the pool safety pledge by visiting: www.poolsafety.gov/pledge.