If you own a pool, your children undoubtedly know all the rules, but what about their friends or the kids down the street? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there are an estimated ten drowning deaths per day in the United States; of those, most children ages 1-4 drown in home swimming pools.
To help pool owners better understand the importance of pool safety,Life Saver Pool Fence Systems coined the phrase "layers of protection" to describe the most effective way to prevent drownings. Almost 30 years later, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance have adopted these recommended steps to help ensure pool safety.
The five key layers of protection are:
1. Parent supervision
Nothing beats parent supervision. Proactive parent supervision is your most important tool in drowning prevention. When using the pool, active supervision means sitting close to the pool with your full attention on the child/children -- no reading, no texting, just watching the pool. At parties/events, we recommend designating a person as a Water Watcher (we offer lanyards and whistles to give to the person to denote them), and change shifts every 15 minutes. Most drownings occur, though, when the child was thought to be in the house, nowhere near the pool area. In 67% of fatal drowning cases, a parent was responsible for supervising the child. So, supervision can and does fail, and that's why you need additional layers of protection.
2. High locks on all doors and windows.
Locks out of the reach of children should be installed, and used, on every door and window that leads to the pool area. Lots of drownings happen because a parent didn't know that the child had figured out the door knob, so don't rely on the door being shut. Also, close up and doggy/pet doors that access the pool. Many children who drown got to the pool via a doggy door.
3. Pool Safety Fence
Pool fencing is the only layer of protection that physically isolates the backyard from the pool. North Carolina law requires that fences be at least 4' tall and have a self-closing, self-latching gate. Mesh pool safety fence, like Life Saver Pool Fence, has proven to be an effective layer of protection for over 45 years. It's very transparent, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to remove when entertaining only adults.
Drowning is silent. Alarms break that silence. There are door/window alarms, alarms that sit in the pool, and ones that are worn on the child. If the child falls into the pool, an alarm inside that house goes off.
5. Swimming Lessons & CPR
All children should receive swimming lessons as early as their parents and pediatricians feel comfortable. Swimming lessons can begin earlier than one might think, some organizations training even infants to roll over and float, and to swim to the edge of the pool in the event that they fall in. And if all of the other layers of protection fail, parents should be trained in CPR. Knowledge of CPR can make the difference between life, permanent disability, and death.
Life Saver Pool Fence Systems, Inc. is the number one pool fence company in the US and their pool safety experts have released an insightful infographic with shocking child statistics about child drowning, including how it happens, and how it can be prevented. This infographic not only raises awareness on how easily drowning can happen, but how easy it is to prevent it. Life Saver Pool Fence also has tips on steps to take to prevent it.