Summer is Almost Here—Remember the ABC & D’s of Drowning Prevention
The kids are out of school, the days are getting longer, and the temperatures are reaching into the triple digits. While the first day of summer may still be a few weeks away, pool season has officially begun in the Phoenix area—and as families spend more time at the pool, it’s increasingly important to remember the basics of pool safety.
Sadly, Arizona ranks seventh in the U.S. for drowning deaths, and children under the age of five are at the highest risk. But the good news is that by following the “ABC & D’s” of drowning prevention, many of these tragic incidents can be avoided:
A = Adult Supervision
Whenever children are near the water, the most important way to keep them safe is to ensure that they are monitored nonstop by a responsible, attentive adult. This means that the adult should be sober, aware that they are supposed to be watching the kids, and focused on supervising, rather than texting, reading, or succumbing to other distractions. In addition, the designated adult should be familiar with the signs of drowning. Many people assume that a struggling swimmer will be splashing around and calling for help, while in reality, many drownings are completely silent and happen in mere moments.
B = Barriers
After adult supervision, the second most effective way to prevent drowning is to ensure that the pool area is completely enclosed with a well-maintained, legally compliant pool fence and gate. Arizona law requires pool fences to be at least five feet high, located at least 20 inches from the water’s edge, and free of any gaps large enough for an object four inches or more in diameter to pass. Pool gates must open outward from the pool, be self-closing, and have self-latching mechanisms situated at least 54 inches above the ground. Cities and towns may impose more restrictive requirements, so it’s important to check the rules in your area.
With over 15 years of experience installing pool fences and gates for residential and commercial properties throughout the greater Phoenix area, the team at DCS Pool Barriers is well-versed in the state requirements for pool barriers, as well as those in many cities and towns. We specialize in designing, manufacturing, and installing wrought iron pool barriers, which offer superior durability and safety. Wrought iron is naturally very strong, which helps it resist damage and deterioration that would allow it to be breached. Additionally, wrought iron fences are difficult to climb, which further ensures that children will not enter the pool area unsupervised. As an added benefit, wrought iron has an elegant style that will improve the appearance of any pool area!
C = Classes
Even with proper adult supervision, pools can be a dangerous place for children. Teaching kids how to swim from an early age—for example, the American Association of Pediatrics advises that babies as young as a year old can start taking swimming lessons—can help further reduce the risk of drowning. In addition, parents and guardians should take CPR classes so that they know how to administer emergency care in the event that a tragic water-related incident occurs. CPR could potentially save the victim’s life and prevent permanent brain damage by keeping oxygen flowing to the heart and brain.
D = Devices
Another important step to preventing drowning is to stock your pool area with safety devices. For example, consider keeping rescue tools such as a shepherd’s hook or life ring on hand, as well as a landline phone for calling 911 if need be. In addition, anyone who is not a strong swimmer should wear a Coast Guard-approved life vest. “Floaties” are considered toys and will not effectively prevent drowning!
At DCS Pool Barriers, promoting pool safety through secure pool fences and gates is an integral part of our mission. If your residential or commercial pool area is in need of new pool barriers, please contact us today to request a free estimate!