The following list is provided as a guide for parents and grandparents of children under 5 years of age with a swimming pool in the yard:
1. DOORS AND GATES leading to the pool area should be self-closing, locked and alarmed.
2. Install a MOTION ALARM in the pool and spa area.
3. Install a CHILD-SAFE BARRIER (FENCE) around the immediate pool area and/or an approved pool cover. If you don’t block off every access, the child will eventually find a way to get to the pool when you are not looking. Do not deceive yourself by thinking. “My child would never try that”. Children are very smart and you must assume that a child will find a way to beat the system. If you do not, you are asking for trouble.
4. Use a WRISTBAND personal alarm with an in-house remote alarm. The new Safety Turtle is an ideal product for this “Last line of defense”.
5. When having a party, appoint a “DESIGNATED CHILD WATCHER” to constantly observe the children. Adults become preoccupied when socializing. They often assume someone else is watching the kids.
6. Do not consider children “water safe” just because they have had swimming lessons. THERE ARE NO WATER SAFE CHILDREN. Kids lack the maturity level for sound judgment. Fun is their motivation and a pool is fun; Unfortunately it is also dangerous.
7. NO ONE SHOULD EVER SWIM ALONE. Teach your children to use the buddy system. Since children learn by example, parents should follow these safety tips as well.
8. TOYS AND GAMES should not be stored in or near the pool. The attraction of toys near the pool is much too inviting for children.
9. NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN UNATTENDED for any reason. Keep a cordless telephone near the pool at all times. A large percentage of child drownings occur when the children are left unattended while the caretaker answers the telephone, the front door, or while using the restroom.
10. If a child is missing, always check the pool first! TIME IS CRITICAL; if the child has “Silently” entered the water and is submerged, you have precious little time to react.
11. LEARN CPR. Anyone responsible for children including grandparents, siblings, and baby sitters should know CPR. Post CPR instructions near the pool. Contact your local Red Cross for training information.
COMMON SENSE is the key to pool safety. There is no substitute for adult supervision. The National Spa and Pool Institute, The U.S. Consumer Product Safety commission and The American Academy of Pediatrics, all RECOMMEND AT LEAST A 48-INCH HIGH BARRIER ( FENCE) AROUND THE POOL!