According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children aged one to four have the highest drowning rate of all age groups. In that age group overall, one in three deaths are caused by drowning. That’s a sobering fact. Following a supervised romp in the pool, it’s important to clear the area of pool toys to remove the temptation for youngsters to return to the pool unsupervised. Pools should be fenced on all sides with self-locking gates to prevent unsupervised entry.
Summer is a great time to enroll the kids in learn-to-swim programs at the Recreation & Park District’s pool or private lessons at one of the local swim clubs. Following lessons, it is still imperative that attentive poolside adult supervision be followed. For all ages, it is much safer to swim where there’s a lifeguard and to always swim with a buddy.
If you enjoy above-surface watersports such as canoeing, jet skiing, river rafting, or kayaking, don’t forget to wear a life jacket; these jackets save lives. The CDC reports that following watercraft accidents, 90% of the people who drown were not wearing life jackets.
One thing you don’t read about in the paper is the need for storing pool chemicals safely. Make sure that chemicals are stored separately in a dry place, away from heat or direct sunlight. Never mix chlorine-based products. This is especially important where any mixture with an acid could produce deadly chlorine gas.
One thing we can rely on in Central County – summers are hot….and the best relief from the high temperatures is to jump in the pool. Let’s insure we don’t forget about water safety. Next month we’ll return to tips on preparing for an earthquake.