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Grim Statistics On Child Drownings


Door Alarms

 

  • If the house forms one side of the barrier, then doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with alarms that produce an audible sound when a door is unexpectedly opened.

  • Install an alarm that can be temporarily turned off by an adult for a single opening of the door by using a keypad or switch that is out of a child's reach.

  • Battery and electrically powered alarms are available. The key pad switch can be used by adults who wish to pass through the door without setting off the alarm. It should be placed high on all doors leading from the house to the pool. Affordable and easily installed alarms are available. An alarm signal immediately tells a parent that a door has been opened.

Power Safety Covers

  • A power safety cover is a motor powered barrier that can be placed over the water area. Motor-driven covers easily open and close over the pool. When the power safety cover is properly in place over the pool, it provides a high level of safety for children under 5 years old by inhibiting their access to the water.

  • Power safety covers over the pool may be used as an alternative to door alarms. A power safety cover should meet the requirements of the ASTM pool cover standard that addresses labeling requirements and performance. ASTM requires that a cover withstand the weight of two adults and a child to allow a rescue should an individual fall onto the cover. The standard also requires quick removal of water from the cover. A young child can drown in just inches of water.

Above Ground Pools

  • Steps and ladders leading from the ground to the pool should be secured and locked, or removed when the pool is not in use.

Rules For Pools

  • Instruct babysitters about potential pool hazards to young children and about the use of protective devices, such as door alarms and latches. Emphasize the need for constant supervision.

  • Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool. During social gatherings at or near a pool, appoint a "designated watcher" to protect young children from pool accidents. Adults may take turns being the "watcher." When adults become preoccupied, children are at risk.

  • If a child is missing, check the pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability. 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 consider young children to be drownproof because they have had swimming lessons. Children must be watched closely while swimming.

  • Do not use flotation devices as a 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 poolside with emergency numbers posted nearby.

  • Remove toys from in and around the pool when it is not in use. Toys can attract young children to the pool.

  • Never prop open the gate to a pool barrier.

To obtain detailed barrier recommendations, write CPSC, Pool Barriers, Office of Information & Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20207.

 

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