Home swimming pools are becoming more common every day. They provide an excellent means of recreation for your entire family and friends a large part of the year. But beware: Pools are dangerous if not monitored properly. Talking about kids and pets drowning in pools is definitely a downer, but due to the high statistics of drownings in the U.S., it needs to be discussed.
If you have children or pets then you must be aware of the potentially hazardous properties of a pool. Even direct supervision can be inadequate. Counter to images portrayed on screen, drowning victims often make no noise and can drown very quickly. A momentary lapse of attention can turn a swimming pool into a silent killer.
Just how serious is the problem? Here are a few stats for you:
Drowning is the #1 cause of death for children under five in Florida, Arizona, and California, with a ranking of number two for over a dozen other states.
Drowning is among the top 5 leading causes of death in children under the age of five living in Oklahoma according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
For every drowning there are eleven near drowning incidents according to government statistics, many of which result in totally disabling brain damage.
A study conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to find out how child drowning incidents occur indicates that SUPERVISION CAN AND DOES FAIL.The investigation by the Commission was directed at children under age five in Arizona, California, and Florida who had drown in home swimming pools. If drowning were a disease it truly would be referred to as an epidemic. The latest Commission report recorded an average of 279 children under five fatally drowning per year – that’s over 3 times as many deaths as from Swine Flu.
The results might help you to better understand why drowning is still the number one killer for three states and stands at number two for the nation:
Who was in charge of supervision at the time of drowning?
- 69 percent of the accidents occurred while one or both parents were responsible for supervision.
- 10 percent were adults other than the parents.
- 14 percent were sitters.
- 7 percent were siblings.
What was the location of the pool drowning?
- 65 percent were in a pool owned by the child’s family.
- 22 percent at a relative’s house.
- 11 percent happened at a neighbor’s.
Drowning happens quickly and without warning. There is no cry for help.
77 percent of the children had been seen 5 minutes or less before being missed and subsequently discovered in the pool.
Where were they last seen?
- 46 percent WERE LAST SEEN IN THE HOUSE prior to being found in the pool. Of these, 15 percent were thought to be sleeping.
- 23 percent were last seen in the yard, porch or patio, not in the pool area. That’s a total of 69 percent that were thought not to be in the pool area!
- 31 percent were last seen in the pool or pool area.
What activity was the person responsible for supervision involved in at the time of drowning?
- 39 percent were doing chores.
- 18 percent were socializing.
- 9 percent were busy on the telephone.
The suddenness of this type of accident and the results it yields is devastating to anyone it touches. When you think pool, think hard core. Even if this is not your personality, you must be an absolute dictator. Let your children know without any doubts it is your way or none at all. Please establish home pool rules like the ones we have outlined for you on our website. Installing a safety pool fence will help to prevent drownings during the moments of unsupervision. Please contact us for a free consultation or for more information about pool safety.