Tuesday, May 29, 2012

7-Year Old Drowns this Past Weekend--Tips to Prevent Drowning

A seven year old girl drown in an apartment complex pool this past weekend near where I live.  They haven't released the details, but this what I do know.  It was Memorial Day.  It was roasting hot.  I imagine plenty of residents were at the pool.

However, no one seemed to be watching this little girl.  And she died.

I take my children to the pool all the time at the Y.  I am always amazed at the number of parents who let their toddlers/young children in the pool while they sit in a chair and read a book or socialize with a friend--even though pool policy is that a parent is in arms reach if the child has not passed the swim test.  (For some reason, these kids always seek me out to give them the attention their own mothers are not.)  It doesn't take long for a child to drown.  Even if there are life guards, they can't see everything at all times.

Parents, you must keep an eye on your young child at pools, lakes, etc.  Even if your child is a pretty good swimmer, accidents can happen.  Don't count on someone else to watch your child.

Here are some tips taken from the Mayo Clinic to protect your child from drowning:

  • Fence it in. Surround your pool with a fence that's at least 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall. Make sure slatted fences have no gaps wider than 4 inches (10.2 centimeters), so kids can't squeeze through. Avoid chain-link fences, which can be easy for children to climb. Install self-closing and self-latching gates with latches that are beyond a child's reach.
  • Install alarms. If your house serves as part of your pool enclosure, protect any doors leading to the pool area with an alarm. Add an underwater pool alarm that sounds when something hits the water. Make sure you can hear the alarm inside the house.
  • Block pool and hot tub access. Use a rigid, motorized safety cover to block access to the pool when it's not in use. Secure a cover on hot tubs as well. Empty inflatable pools after each use. Don't allow water to collect on top of the pool or hot tub cover. Remove aboveground pool steps or ladders or lock them behind a fence when the pool isn't in use.
  • Teach children to swim. Most children can learn to swim at about age 5 — but know that swimming lessons won't necessarily prevent a child from drowning.
  • Remove toys. Don't leave pool toys in the water. A child may fall into the water while trying to retrieve a toy.
  • Keep your eyes peeled. Never leave children unsupervised near a pool or hot tub. During social gatherings, adults who know how to swim can take turns being the "designated watcher." Don't rely on air-filled or foam toys, such as water wings, noodles or inner tubes, to keep children safe.
  • Beware of drains. Don't allow children to play near or sit on pool or hot tub drains. Body parts and hair may become entrapped by the strong suction. Use drain covers, and consider installing multiple drains to reduce the suction.
  • Keep emergency equipment handy. Store a safety ring with a rope beside the pool. Make sure you always have a phone in the pool area


Ruth Cox said...

Oh, how awful and sad this little girl lost her life in a pool accident that, yes, could have been prevented. Let us hope and pray parents will heed this pool tips!

Julie Wood said...

This is so sad! Every year I hear of so many children drowning! But it is not just children. Where I live this military man who was 26 years old drowned on a fast moving river. He was not even wearing a life jacket! I wonder why some parents do not watch their children! Such a tragic loss!

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