Teaching a child to swim doesn’t mean that a child is safe in or around water. Here are some swimming pool safety facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Drowning can occur in only 2 inches of water.
- Near drownings can cause severe brain damage, memory problems and learning disorders.
- Near drownings can cause death at a later time because of complications of the chemistry in lungs.
- About 350 children under 5 drown in pools each year.
- Another 2,600 are treated in hospitals for near-drowning incidents.
- Drowning is the second-leading cause of death for all children.
- Alcohol is involved in up to half of teenage and adult fatal drowning accidents.
If you are a pool owner, follow these swimming pool safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
- Make sure adults are trained in life-saving techniques and CPR.
- Enclose your pool on all four sides with a safe fence.
- Fence gates should self-close and self-latch and be at a height that children cannot reach.
- Keep rescue equipment and a telephone near the pool.
- Do not use inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They can give childrens a false sense of security but they are not a substitute for life vests.
- Children are not developmentally ready for swim lessons until after their fourth birthday. Swim programs for children under four should not be seen as a way to decrease the risk of drowning.
- Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”