Swimming Pool and Hot Tub Owners, Don't Let Summer Fun Turn Into a Tragedy
pools and hot tubs pose a potential threat to children and should be
fenced off and locked up to prevent drownings this summer.
Drowning is a
leading cause of death in several states. More than 375 children under
5 years old drown in swimming pools each year in the United States,
most in residential swimming pools, according to Barb Bailey, an injury
prevention specialist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and
"There is no
foolproof protection against drowning and children must be supervised
at all times while in the water. Flotation devices are never to be used
as a substitute for supervision, and knowing how to swim doesn't make a
child drown proof. Watch children closely while they are in the pool,"
The following steps may help to avoid a summertime drowning:
- Build Physical barriers such as a fence, wall or power safety cover for the pool, to limit access to swimming pools.
- Fences and walls should be at least five-feet
high and installed completely around the pool. Fence gates should be
self-closing and self-latching. The latch should be out of a small
- If a house forms one side of the barrier for
the pool, then doors leading from the house to the pool should be
protected with alarms that produce an audible sound when a door is
unexpectedly opened. A power safety cover, a motor-powered barrier that
can be placed over the water area, can be used as an alternative to
- For above-ground swimming pools, steps and
ladders should be secured and locked, or removed when the swimming pool
is not in use.
- If a child is missing, always look in the swimming pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
For More Information, call (303) 692-2589.
Copyright 1999 Health Resources Publishing