Nearly 1,000 children in the U.S. drowned in 2011, and swimming pools were the most common site for youth drowning accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other drowning statistics are just as troubling.
Martin Eichelberger, MD, president and CEO of Safe Kids and director of emergency trauma and burn services at Children’s National Medical Center says, “Drowning is quick and silent. Young kids rarely make a big splash, thrash around, or scream for help like you see on TV. They usually fall in head first and sink to the bottom like a rock.”
To avoid a needless tragedy, take extra precautions when your child will be spending time around a pool.
Pool Safety Tips
Prevent a tragedy by following the safety tips below.
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Never leave a child unattended
Poor supervision is to blame for about 90 percent of childhood drowning cases, reports Parents magazine citing Safe Kids. Never take your eyes off of your child and always stay within arm’s reach. If you have to divert your attention for even second (like to answer your phone or use the restroom,) take your child with you.
Don’t rely on floatation devices
Floaties, water wings, inflatable devices, and noodles are fine, but only with your supervision. Do not depend on them to keep your child safe. Also, when near an open body of water, insist on your child using U.S. Coast Guard-approved life preservers.
Don’t depend on lifeguards
Lifeguards are an added safety measure, but don’t solely rely on them. Your child can easily slip under their radar.
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Be leery of kiddie pools
Kiddie or inflatable pools may be shallow, but children as old as four can drown in mere minutes in them. Never leave your child unattended near one, always empty the pool when not in use, and store it upside down so it can’t collect rainwater.
Be prepared for an emergency. Take the time to learn CPR at a local facility. Red Cross offers free or low-cost CPR classes in most towns around the country.
Use anti-entrapment drain covers
A child’s hair or bathing suit can easily get sucked into a drain and entrap the child. Ensure whatever pool your child will be using has an anti-entrapment drain cover.
Collecting Damages in the Event of a Pool-related Accident
When a child has been underwater for two minutes, s/he will lose consciousness, and after four to six minutes, s/he can suffer irreversible brain damage, reports Parents magazine.
If you recently lost your child in a swimming pool accident because of another’s negligence, or if your child was in a near drowning and suffered major damage, speak to an attorney about your legal options. You might be entitled to financial restitution. For assistance in Florida, call the attorneys at Chalik & Chalik. Contact us today 855-529-0269 for a free consultation.