Each year in the U.S., about 300 children under five years old drown in family pools and more than 2,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for pool-related injuries according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. There were 118 drowning and near-drowning incidents across the country in the first five months of 2011.
The commission and the DeKalb County Board of Health’s Environmental Health Services offer tips to help prevent drowning:
- Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool. During social gatherings at or near a pool, appoint a “water watcher” to protect young children from pool accidents. Adults may take turns being the “water watcher.”
- Instruct family members about potential pool hazards and how to use protection devices, such as a floating pool alarm, a door alarm, an alarm gate and a self- latching gate.
- If a child is missing, check the pool first. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom and surface, as well as the pool area.
- Do not allow a young child in the pool without an adult.
- Do not allow a child in pool water that is too cloudy to see main the drains.
- Do not use flotation devices as substitute for supervision.
- Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Babysitters and other caretakers, such as grandparents and older siblings, should also know CPR.
- Keep rescue equipment by the pool. Be sure a telephone is at poolside with emergency numbers posted nearby.
- Remove toys from in and around the pool when it is not in use.
- Never prop open the gate of a fence around a pool.
For additional information, call the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-638-2772 or visit: