This article in the Chicago Tribune outlines the dilemma perfectly. It’s a hot summer and we want a way to cool off but beaches and public pools are closed. So, we are turning to some alternative ways to cool off that may present some unintended safety risks. I, too, bought one of those self-set pools referred to in the article. Being the safety-oriented person that I am, I did put a fence around it per our town’s municipal code. But th
e fact remains that there is an awful lot more water for drownings to happen this summer, either Lake Michigan beaches without lifeguards or backyard pools. Drowning can happen in seconds and in much less water than you think. Follow these water safety tips from the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.
· Educate children and adults about water safety.
Never leave a child unattended near water in a pool, tub, bucket or ocean. There is no substitute for adult supervision.
· Swim near a lifeguard whenever possible and only swim in designated swimming areas.
· Designate a “Water Watcher” to maintain constant watch over children in the pool during gatherings.
· The home should be isolated from the pool with a fence at least 60” tall, with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
· Doors and windows should be alarmed to alert adults when opened. Doors should be self-closing and self-latching.
· Keep a phone at poolside so that you never have to leave the pool to answer the phone, and can call for help if needed.
· Learn CPR and rescue breathing.
· Keep a life-saving ring, shepherd’s hook and CPR instructions mounted at poolside.
· Only use proper and approved floatation devices. Do not confuse proper and approved floatation devices with toys.
· Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
· Never leave water in buckets or wading pools.
· If a child is missing, always check the pool first. Seconds count!
· Remove toys from in and around the pool when not in use.
· Don’t use floating chlorine dispensers that look like toys.
· Instruct babysitters about potential pool hazards, and emphasize the need for constant supervision.
· Do not consider children “drownproof” because they’ve had swimming lessons.