Apr 1, 2013 1:16 PM by Faye DeHoff
TUCSON - With warmer weather here and the summer pool season just around the corner, it's essential that parents take the necessary precautions to ensure that their children are safe in and around the water. Drowning is 100% preventable and yet it continues to occur in our city each year. The most effective way to prevent this tragedy is to create multiple layers of protection around your pool and rely on the ABC'S of drowning prevention.
Active Adult Supervision
This is your first line of defense against drowning. The Designated Child Watcher is responsible for supervising the children when they are in or near the water. The Designated Child Watcher agrees to supervise the children without distraction for a given period of time. The Designated Child Watcher is given a lifeguard whistle or neck wallet that serves to remind them of their responsibility. When another adult relieves them, the whistle is handed off to them. This ensures that there isn't a lapse in supervision.
Perimeter Fencing: Every pool within Tucson city limits is required by law to have a five-foot high, permanently fixed fence that completely surrounds the perimeter of the pool.
Self-Closing/Self Latching Gates: All pool gates need to be self-closing and self-latching. To test your gate, open the gate to body width and release. The gate should swing close and completely latch on its own.
Check for Gaps or Openings: Make sure that your pool fencing does not contain gaps exceeding 4 inches. Check the entire perimeter of the fence regularly to look for erosion or unusual spacing between the ground and the bottom of the fence.
Remove Climbable Items: Make sure that items such as patio furniture, trees, walls, landscape boulders, etc. are not within close proximity to the pool fence. These items could assist children in climbing the fence.
Remove Toys From Pool Area: Remove items that may attract children to the water, make sure that toys, rafts or other attractive items have been put away after use.
CPR: Every parent should learn CPR. It may save your child's life someday.
Learn To Swim: Ask your pediatrician when it is appropriate to have your children take swimming lessons.
Children often drown in spite of an adult's presence in swimming pools during parties or in bathtubs right in our own homes. We can do better... Remember the ABC's of drowning prevention:
Active Adult Supervision
Barriers: Multiple layers of barriers isolating the pool and spa from children
Classes: Age appropriate swim lessons and learn CPR