Rapid Response: Pool and Spa Safety in the News - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Rapid Response: Pool and Spa Safety in the News

SPOKANE, Wash. - Just this week, a child drowned in your community. Should you continue to report about this tragedy? The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) encourages you to use this incident as a teachable moment to share information and resources with your audience about how to prevent drownings.

CPSC has launched Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives, a national public education effort to reduce child drowning and non-fatal submersions, and entrapments in swimming pools and spas. In support of the campaign, a new CPSC report released in May 2010 shows that from 2007-2009, there was an estimated average of 4,200 pool or spa emergency department-treated submersions for children younger than 15; and children between the ages of 12 to 35 months represented 47% of estimated injuries for these years.

 Additionally:

  •   The majority of deaths and injuries occur in residential settings and involve children ages 1-2
  •  Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death to children ages 1-4
  • Most young children drown when there is a short lapse in adult supervision and  access to the pool is easy
  • Little children drown  quickly and silently

 So How Do You Pool Safely?

The greatest water safety assurance in swimming pools and spas comes from adopting and practicing as many water safety steps as possible. Adding that extra safety step in and around the water can make all the difference. You can never know which safety measure will save a life – until it does.The following list outlines the water safety steps that can and should be taken to keep children safe.

Behavioral: staying close, being alert, and watching children in and around the pool

  •  Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa; always watch your child when they are in or near a pool or spa
  •   Teach children basic water safety skills
  • Avoid entrapment by keeping children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings
  •  Have a phone close by at all times when you or your family are using a pool or spa
  •  If a child is missing, look for them in the pool or spa first
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors

 

Knowledge-based: learning and practicing water safety skills

  • Learn how to swim and ensure your children know how to swim as well
  • Learn to perform CPR on children and adults; update those skills regularly
  • Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency

 Equipment: having the appropriate equipment

Install a 4-foot fence around the perimeter of the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates. Ask your neighbors and community groups to do the same at all residential pools

  • If your house serves as the fourth side of a fence around a pool, install a door or pool alarm and use it
  • Ensure any pool or spa you use has compliant drain covers; ask if you do not know
  • Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order
  •  Have life saving equipment such as life rings or floats available and easily accessible
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