When It’s Not Swimming Time
by Colleen Kraft M.D.
Swimming pools can have a powerful pull on little children―even when it’s not swimming time. Those glistening turquoise-blue ripples may look especially inviting to an active toddler or an overly confident preschooler.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends several ways parents can help keep children safe around home swimming pools and hot tubs―all year long―in your own backyard, your neighbor’s, or on vacation.
Fact: Most drownings in kids 4 and under happen in home swimming pools.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) studied drownings among children age 4 and under in Arizona, California, and Florida, where pools are especially common. It found that nearly 70% of the children were not expected to be at or in the pool, yet they were found in the water. In fact, 46% of the children were last seen in the house.
Pool fences are for above-ground pools that are portable as well as those that are permanent, inground pools, and hot tubs.
Between 2013 and 2015, most (58%) drownings among children age 4 and under took place in a pool or spa at their own home. Most children drowned when they wander out of the house and fell into a swimming pool that was not fenced off from the house. They slipped out a door, climbed out a window, or even crawled through a doggy door to access the pool.
But, a family swimming pool isn’t the only one a child can get into unnoticed. More than a quarter (27%) of drownings among children age 4 and under took place at the home of a friend, relative or neighbor. Only some individual states and municipalities have laws requiring pool safety fences; there is no national pool fence law. Whenever your child will be in someone else’s home, always check for ways your child could access pools and other potential hazards.
Pool fencing recommendations:
Drowning is silent. Alarms break that silence.
What Else Can Parents Do?
Even with safety measures in place, parents should be prepared in case that their child gets into a swimming pool unseen. Some precautions that may help:
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.