As the Florida temperatures rise, families will seek refuge in the cool waters of their backyard pools. There is nothing like a quick dip in the pool on a hot summer’s day. However, it does not come without potential risks.
Each year thousands of people will go to the emergency room due to pool or spa-related injuries. Drownings are a preventable cause of death and injury in children. By putting proven safety behaviors and systems into practice, you and your family will be much more secure in and around swimming pools. The following are useful tips to help you and your family stay safe.
- Never leave children unattended. Watch your children when they are in or near a pool or spa, even if they know how to swim.
- Teach children basic water safety tips.
- Keep children away from pool drain, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapment.
- If a child is missing, check the pool or spa first.
- Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts.
- Enforce water safety rules with your children —especially no running, pushing, or dunking.
Learn & Practice Water Safety Skills
- Learn how to swim and teach your children how to swim.
- Learn to perform CPR on children and adults. Regularly update your skills.
- Understand the basics of water safety and life-saving techniques so that you can assist in a pool emergency.
- Share safety instructions with family, friends, and neighbors.
Have The Appropriate Equipment For Your Pool or Spa
- Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool & spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates. Ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
- Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.
- If your house serves as the fourth side of a fence around your pool, install door alarms. Use them at ALL times. For additional protection, install window guards on any windows facing the pool & spa.
- Install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water.
- Ensure pool and spa covers are in good working order.
- Keep rescue equipment in a known place near the pool.
- Keep a first aid kit by the pool. Include a pair of scissors to cut hair, clothing, pool cover, etc. if needed in an emergency.
- Have a charged telephone close by at all times when you or your family are using a pool or spa. Post emergency contact numbers and your address by the pool in case a visitor needs to call 911.
- Ensure any pool & spa you use has compliant drain covers. Call United Pools if you are not sure.
The Phenomenon of Dry Drowning
“Dry drowning” or “secondary drowning” occurs when a person aspirates water into the lungs, which disrupts oxygen supply. This is a situation requiring medical treatment.
Signs & Symptoms:
Dry drowning & secondary drowning have the same symptoms, which include:
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- Decreased energy, increased agitation, which could mean the brain is not getting enough oxygen.
What to Do:
If an individual exhibits any signs of dry drowning, get medical attention. Although in most cases, the symptoms will go away on their own, it is important to get your child checked by a medical professional.