June 1 2015

Two Tragedies Highlight Need for Pool Safety (Safety Tips)


Summer is a great time for swimming in the family pool. 

Pool safety, however, is paramount. Just this week two children have died in pool-related accidents in New England: On Sunday a 5-year-old girl died in a unused and covered pool in Methuen and on Monday a two-year-old boy died in a pool in Epping, New Hampshire. In both cases the children wandered out of adult supervision. 

The American Red Cross reports over 200 children drown in backyard swimming pools each year, a release from police public relations manager John Guilfoil states. To prevent becoming a statistic this season, officials suggests that residents: 

• Per Massachusetts law, have at least a 4-foot-high barrier that encloses the pool (even if you don't have children) and an access gates that self-closes, locks and opens outward from the swimming area. Fasten a safety cover when the pool is not in use. Remove ladders to further prevent access into the pool. For extra safety, install a pool alarm that will sound if anyone enters the water. 

• Never leave children unattended while they’re near or in a pool and make sure they have an adult buddy to accompany them into the water. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm floats.

• Make sure children stay away from pool drains, pipes or any other openings to avoid getting trapped or hurt. If a child does go missing, check the pool first.

• Set safety instructions and share then with family, friends, neighbors or anyone who is near or using the pool. Advise children to stay clear of pool deep ends, and to always walk, not run around the pool.

• Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency situation occurs. Update skills regularly. 

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