The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the launch of its campaign, “Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives,” on April 21. To help spread awareness about water drowning prevention, television and radio public service announcements (PSAs) are being released encouraging parents and children to implement as many safety steps as possible in and around pools and spas.
According to the CPSC, over the course of 15 weeks in the first few months of 2011, there were 37 drowning and 38 near-drowning incidents. The Pool Safely campaign is reported to be the federal government’s “first-of-its-kind” national public education effort to decrease incidents of child drowning and near-drowning in swimming pools and spas.
As Portland child injury attorneys, we believe it is important to highlight some key points in promotion of pool safety, as provided by the CPSC, for parents and caregivers to follow:
- Make sure there is appropriate and functional fencing around pools and spas in your backyard;
- Strongly consider installing door alarms for sliding doors or other exits to the backyard;
- Learn CPR and other water safety skills and teach children basic water safety tips;
- Always have a phone nearby when you or your family are using a pool or spa;
- Check that proper rescue (life rings or floats) and emergency kit equipment is easily accessible;
- Make sure your swimming pool and/or spa has safety drain covers to prevent entrapment;
- Think about getting your child or children swimming lessons and if you can’t swim, now is the time to learn;
- Stay close to children at all times;
- If a child is ever missing, search the pool or spa first;
- Set rules and boundaries for children, caregivers, family members, babysitters, etc.; and
- Find out if there is a community pool near your home or if there are pools or spas in the backyards of neighbors.
Most drowning and near-drowning swimming pool accidents in Oregon are preventable. This makes these tragic accidents all the more devastating. The more parents and child guardians understand about pool safety, the better the chances that drowning and near-drowning accidents will not happen. With summer and warmer weather on the horizon, make sure that you are always alert and watching children in and around the pool. Be safe everyone!