As anyone who has been outside in the scorching weather can attest, we are still very much in the midst of the summer. Drought conditions are more severe than they have been in years, meaning that many Americans are turning to swimming pools for a respite from the heat. A new report out of New Jersey discusses tips that citizens can follow to ensure safety in the water.
Although ostensibly geared to the city of Nutley, New Jersey, the tips are just as valid in other parts of the country. The city’s mayor, who also happens to be the director of the public safety department, is drawing attention to pool safety as the first step in a multi-pronged program known as Safety Awareness for Everyone, or SAFE. He cites CPSC data showing 3,000 submersion accidents befalling children under five every year to illustrate the importance of pool safety.
Some tips are made in relation to pools on residential property. Consumers who have a pool in their backyards should install latching and self-closing gates around the pool. To further impede entry by young ones, nearby tree limbs that could be climbed should be chopped down, and ladders and chairs should be kept out of reach of kids as well. Fences and pools should have alarms that alert parents to any entrance, and even small wading pools should be drained when not in use to prevent infants from drowning.
Public pools entail their own risks. Before visiting such a facility, parents would be wise to check whether or not lifeguards are going to be present. On top of this, visitors should verify that persons on staff have necessary training in CPR and other lifesaving techniques. As far as the pool itself, parents should know how deep the water is in each section, as well as where the shallow end gives way to deeper waters. Diving boards should only be above deep water, and safety equipment should be readily available at all times.
There’s one additional tip that many people probably haven’t considered. Although this blog has often talked about how texting can distract drivers, one threat that often isn’t considered is how texting can take a lifeguard or babysitter’s attention away from their duty. The Nutley mayor stated that this threat was recently drawn the attention of the American Life Guard Association. Teenagers are particularly susceptible to the texting scourge. If a lifeguard isn’t focused on the pool, the results could be disastrous. Guardians should also ensure that their babysitters aren’t so in tune with electronic devices that they stop looking after the children under their charge.
With pool weather showing no signs of cooling down, these safety tips should be in the forefront of every swimmers’ mind.