Tricounty News

Pool safety

It's about to be that time of year again - where the swimming pool becomes a great escape from the heat. However, pools prove to be deadly for kids each year. Consider the following statistics reported by the Mayo Clinic:

• Approximately 300 children under the age of 5 drown in backyard swimming pools nationwide each year.

• Nearly 70 percent of the children who drown were not expected to be near the pool when they were found in the water.

• In the remaining 30 percent of cases, most children were supervised by one or both parents, proving that it only takes a few moments for a child to slip under the surface and drown.

Use the following tips to ensure fun and safety for your kids in and around the pool

• Install pool alarms - floating pool alarms alert you that something or someone is in the water (like a toddler who accidentally falls in).

• Fence it in - Make sure access to your pool is blocked. Fences and walls should be taller than a child and completely surround the pool. All gates or doors leading to the pool should be self-latching and impossible for a child to open.

• Cover it up - A motor-powered safety cover can provide a barrier over the water when the pool is not in use.

• Maintain proper chemical mixture - improper chemicals can cause cloudy water that can mask dangers at the bottom or make it difficult to see children under water.

• Remove toys - Don't leave pool toys in the water. Children may try to retrieve a toy they wish to play with and fall in.

• Learn CPR and rescue techniques.

• Stock first aid equipment - First Aid should always be within close proximity of the pool because of the high risk for injury.

• Monitor your kids at all times while they swim. Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool. During social gatherings near pools, designate an adult to watch the water.

Don Keenan is the founder of the Keenan's Kids Foundation,