Stay-at-home orders and lock downs have altered the plans of many. Families have been forced to cancel their vacations; sporting events are postponed; summer concerts are being rescheduled. One industry that is booming due to the pandemic is swimming pool sales. According to Google, searches for the term “pools” more than doubled in May of 2020, and now ranks as the third most researched commodity. And while floating on a raft in the comfort of your yard may be a quarantine-safe activity, record sales of swimming pools may mean increased risk. “Pools” now ranks as the third most researched commodity on Google.
Drownings account for seven percent of all injury-related deaths.
According to the World Health Organization, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in America. Worldwide approximately 320,000 drowning deaths occur annually, accounting for seven percent of all injury-related deaths. With numbers this large, it is important to take measures to prevent tragedy. We have put together a list of safety precautions for pool safety this summer:
- Secure the area. Installation of a fence measuring at least four feet high with a locked gate is critical to prevent unwanted visitors. In addition, you should evaluate the area for any lawn equipment or furniture that can act as a boost for children or other individuals; if present, remove immediately.
- Alarm the premises. There are a variety of alarms available ranging from pool and windows, to gate, to surface water. Early detection of unwanted motion in the pool and its vicinity is a great way to prevent injury or death.
- Use non-slip materials. Decks, diving boards, ladders, and walkways surrounding the swimming pool should be composed of non-slip material.
- Obtain and maintain CPR certification. The American Red Cross along with many hospitals, first-response organizations, and community centers offer CPR certification classes.
- Enroll in swim lessons. If young children reside in your home, swim lessons are a valuable tool whether you have a pool or not. You can often enroll in swim classes for a reduced cost at local YMCA facilities or recreation departments.
- Always ensure adult supervision. No child should swim without an adult present. Even if swimming at a public pool with a lifeguard on duty, caregivers should keep watch for any unprecedented water injury.
- Implement and enforce pool rules. Educate children on the importance of refraining from pushing, shoving, acting reckless, or roughhousing around any body of water. A head injury prior to entering a body of water is a recipe for disaster.
There are countless safety measures can be taken to help prevent injury or death when it comes to swimming pools. Stay alert, do your best to prevent unwanted/unattended visitors, and remain up to date on continued risks and education from the World Health Organization.