How to practice pool safety
In 2012, 1,000 children drowned across the country and another 5,000 suffered injuries from a near-drowning experience. Practicing pool safety can help prevent children from drowning. Some tips:
• A guardian should be designated to watch children in the water at all times. Blowing a whistle helps alert others of a child drowning and to call 911.
• An alarm that can be placed on the exit of the home or in the pool alerts parents if a child steps outside or falls into the pool.
• Follow the 4-4-4 rule: Install fences on all four sides of the pool, making sure they are 4 feet high with slats separated by 4 inches.
• Cover spas and jacuzzis.
• Lock sliding doors and screen doors.
• If a child disappears from sight, first search all waterways such as pools, bathtubs and backyard lakes and ponds.
• If the child is found, do not hesitate; call 911. The dispatcher will give directions for administering CPR.
• Do not encourage breath-holding competitions among kids.
• Do not allow roughhousing in the pool or around the pool deck.
• Keep a cellphone or landline near the pool to call 911 in case of an emergency.
• Learn CPR.
• Enroll your child in swimming lessons. All children 9 months and older should be able to float in water. Children should know how to swim even when fully clothed.