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Safety tips to prevent drowning

Question of the Day / Subject: Drowning
Q: We have a swimming pool at our home and have kids swimming in it almost daily. Can you provide me with some safety tips on how to prevent drowning?

A: As with so many other childhood injuries or deaths, drowning is entirely preventable.  The following 10 tips will help keep your children and others safe around the pool throughout the summer and fall:

  1. Never leave your children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.
  2. You must put up a fence to separate your house from the pool. Most young children who drown in pools wander out of the house and fall into the pool. Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all 4 sides of the pool.
  3. Use gates that self-close and self-latch, with latches higher than your children’s reach.
  4. A power safety cover that meets the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) adds to the protection of your children but should not be used in place of the fence between your house and the pool.
  5. Keep rescue equipment (such as a shepherd’s hook or life preserver) by the pool.
  6. Do not let your child use air-filled “swimming aids” because they are not a substitute for approved life vests and can be dangerous.
  7. Anyone watching young children around a pool should learn CPR and be able to rescue a child if needed.
  8. Stay within an arm’s length of your child.
  9. Remove all toys from the pool after use so children aren’t tempted to reach for them.
  10. After the children are done swimming, secure the pool so they can’t get back into it.

For more information on drowning, including who is at risk, click on Drowning.

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