As summer is on the horizon, many Arizona residents are looking forward to enjoying the warm weather by the pool. However, the arrival of swimming season means that all pool owners should take the time to review recommended drowning prevention measures. According to the American Red Cross, approximately 200 children drown in home swimming pools each year—and this rate is generally higher in Arizona, where pools are such common household assets. Fortunately, abiding by certain safety procedures will help to minimize the risk of drowning.
As you prepare your pool for peak swimming season, remember these five critical tips to keep kids safe around the pool area:
- Maintain constant adult supervision. While other pool safety measures are important, there is no substitute for nonstop, responsible adult supervision whenever children are near water. Keep in mind that it only takes seconds for a child to begin to struggle in the water, so ensure that the supervising adults are within arm’s reach of the kids and are not distracted by conversation, their phones, or other interferences.
- Install proper barriers around the pool area and maintain them in sound condition. Fences and gates will prevent children (and pets!) from entering the pool area without supervision. According to Arizona law, pool fences must be at least five feet high, located 20 inches or more from the water’s edge, and be free of gaps, handholds, or footholds that would enable someone to climb the fence. In addition, gates must be self-closing, open outward from the pool area, and have self-latching mechanisms located a minimum of 54 inches above the ground. (http://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/environmental-health/index.php#residential-pool-safety)
At DCS Pool Barriers, we recommend wrought iron as a preferred material for pool fences and gates. Wrought iron cannot be easily climbed and is naturally durable, making it more resistant to wear and tear. However, even with sturdy wrought iron, it is crucial that pool owners regularly inspect their fences and gates to ensure that they are free of rust and other damage that could allow the barrier to be breached.
- Educate both children and adults. In light of studies indicating that there is a reduced risk of drowning in preschool-aged children who have taken swimming lessons, the American Association of Pediatrics has stated that it is safe to enroll kids in swimming lessons as early as the age of one. Of course, it is important to remember that the risk of drowning still exists even for strong swimmers, so constant adult supervision is always a must. Adults who will be watching kids by the pool should be knowledgeable about emergency procedures and be CPR certified.
- Have life-saving devices in the pool area that can be used to safely guide a struggling swimmer out of the water. In addition, consider having a first-aid kit handy, as well as Coast Guard-approved life vests for those who are not comfortable in the water.
- Ensure that there are no benches, ladders, or other items around the pool fence that a child could use to climb into the pool area unsupervised.
Is your pool area safe for swimming season? At DCS Pool Barriers, we will ensure that your pool fences and gates are in good condition, and recommend repair or replacement if necessary. If you need a new pool barrier, our team of experienced professionals will design, manufacture, and install a wrought iron fence and/or gate that is safe, compliant with local and state regulations, and customized to suit the style of your property. Contact us today at https://dcspoolbarriers.com/contact-us/ or call us at 623-825-7700 for a free estimate!
(Sources: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety/home-pool-safety, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/at-what-age-should-a-child-learn-to-swim-very-early-may-not-be-best-experts-warn/2014/06/30/24490806-f649-11e3-a606-946fd632f9f1_story.html?utm_term=.f789b33a34be).