Tuesday, June 19, 2012 / 5:05 PM
During the hot months, pool safety is a major concern for parents and caregivers. Drowning is the number one cause of death for children under five, so safeguarding these little ones around a pool, hot tub, lake, etc. is essential. Last week on Take Care STL, we told you about Infant Swimming Resource, a local class where young kids can learn how to save themselves if they fall into deep water. This week, we've got some more pool tips courtesy of Mercy.net and Robert E. Lynch, a pediatric critical care physician with Mercy Clinic and Mercy Children’s Hospital :
1. All pools should be isolated with an effective barrier. Especially when no one’s using them. Pool fences must enclose the entire pool, separate it from any house door and must be relatively unclimbable. That means fences should also be at least 48 inches tall and have no horizontal elements that could act as foot or hand-holds. And gates should be self-locking. Easily movable but effective fencing is available for patio pools where permanent fencing is not an option.
2. Supervision is mandatory. An adult, whose job is to observe the children in the pool, must be present and have a full view of the pool at all times. Too many tragedies happen during a brief period of distraction or when the adult is gone for “just a minute.” And children cannot supervise other children. If the adult must leave the pool area, the swimmers must leave too.
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