It only takes a few seconds for a child to drown. Drowning accidents are a leading cause of death for children under four years old. And, almost 70% of all drowning accidents occur in backyard swimming pools which could have been prevented.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department has tips on how you and your family can stay safe:
- Never take your eyes off a child when he/she is in or near any body of water; not even for a second.
- Don’t rely on barriers, such as fences or walls near a pool or spa. There is no substitute for constant supervision.
- Make sure your pool or spa has a fence, wall or safety cover that guards against unsupervised access, particularly by young children.
- Make sure doors leading to the pool or spa area are self-closing and self-latching or are equipped with exit alarms and are never propped open.
- Remove toys, tricycles or other children’s playthings out of the water and away from the pool or spa when not in use.
- Don’t consider your children to be “drown-proof” because you enrolled them in swimming or water-proofing classes.
- Don’t rely on inflatable devices to keep your child afloat. These are not substitutes for adult supervision.
- Always drain standing (surface) water from the pool cover. Remember that even a few inches of water can be hazardous, especially to young children.
- Learn CPR and rescue breathing.
- Install a phone or keep a cordless phone in the pool or spa area.
- Keep a life-saving ring, shepherd’s hook and CPR instructions mounted at poolside.
If someone is in trouble in the pool:
1. Don’t panic; yell for help.
2. Get the child/adult out of the pool immediately.
3. Call 911 for emergency medical services.
4. If you’re trained, begin CPR, if necessary.
5. If you’re not trained in CPR, follow telephone instructions from the Fire Department until they arrive to assist you.