Swimming Pool Safety Information
Important things to remember:
If a child cannot be found, CHECK THE POOL FIRST - a child can drown in a matter of minutes and there is very rarely any splashing or noise.
Teaching your child how to swim DOES NOT MEAN that your child is safe in water.
Supervise your children at all times - and install a removable safety fence around your pool.
With kids in the home and a swimming pool in the garden, supervision is the number 1 way to keep your children safe from injury or drowning, but supervision, by itself, is not nearly enough to ensure pool safety. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, of all the swimming pool accidents involving small children, 77% of the victims had been seen by a parent/guardian within the past five minutes. Almost 80% of swimming pool accidents occurred when both parents were at home and watching the child! Experts at the National Spa & Pool Institute, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Academy of Paediatrics agree that pool safety barriers are always necessary. The fence should be a minimum of 4 feet high with a self-closing, self-latching pool gate. All our pool safety fence systems meet these standards.
Here is a guide for parents of children under 5. Common sense is the key to all of these pool safety recommendations.
- Doors leading to the pool should be kept locked and alarmed if possible.
- Install a safety barrier, so that the only reason to go through that barrier is to use the pool. This is a must-do for families with small children. If this isn't possible, make sure your safety barrier prevents access from ALL doors, gates and windows leading into the pool area.
You must assume that a child will try to beat your pool safety system.
If you don't think this is true, YOU ARE WRONG!
The reasons for this are very simple to understand
- A child does not know right from wrong.
- All children are attracted to the water/pool.
- A child does not know or understand fear.
- You can't trust a child's judgment.
- If a child can't be found, immediately check the pool first. Time is critical!
- Never consider youngsters "water safe" because they've had swimming lessons. There are no water-safe children.
Extra precautions that can be taken
- When having a party, designate a child watcher for pool safety. Adults become preoccupied when socializing and often assume someone else is watching the kids.
- No one should ever swim alone. Teach your children to use the buddy system. Since children learn by example, parents should follow these pool safety tips too.
- Learn CPR. Anyone responsible for children, such as babysitters, should know CPR. Because of the time it takes for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills can make a difference in someone's life.
- Radios, CD players and ALL other electrical equipment should be kept away from the pool area.
- Toys and games should not be stored or left near the pool. The lure of toys near the pool is much too inviting for children.
- Keep a phone and rescue equipment handy in the pool area. Make sure they work.
- No drugs or alcohol when you plan to use the pool.
- Never dive into the shallow end.
- Stay out of the pool during thunder and lightning storms.
Please supervise your children at all times -- and install a removable safety fence around your pool.
Fact sheet N°347 November 2010
world health organization
- Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting for 7% of all injury related deaths.
- There are an estimated 388,000 annual drowning deaths worldwide.
- Global estimates may significantly underestimate the actual public health problem related to drowning.
- Children, and other individuals with increased access to water are most at risk of drowning.
Drowning is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment from submersion/immersion in liquid; outcomes are classified as death, morbidity and no morbidity.
Scope of the problem
In 2004, an estimated 388 000 people died from drowning, making drowning a major public health problem worldwide. Injuries account for nearly 10% of total global mortality. Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths.
There is a wide range of uncertainty around the estimate of global drowning deaths. It is important to point out that the global problem is much greater than the above figures reveal; due to the way data are classified, global numbers exclude drowning due to floods (cataclysms), boating and water transport mishaps. Non-fatal drowning statistics in many countries are not readily available or are unreliable.
Who is at risk?
Age is one of the major risk factors for drowning. This relationship is often associated with a lapse in supervision. In general, children under 5 years of age have the highest drowning mortality rates worldwide. Canada and New Zealand are the only exceptions, where adult males drown at higher rates
Child drowning statistics from a number of countries are particularly revealing:
- Australia: drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged 1-3 years.
- Bangladesh: drowning accounts for 20% of all deaths in children aged 1-4 years.
- China: drowning is the leading cause of injury death in children aged 1-14 years.
- USA: drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged 1-14 years.
Access to water
Increased access to water is another risk factor for drowning. Individuals with occupations such as commercial fishing or fishing for subsistence, using small boats in low-income countries are more prone to drowning. Children who live near open water sources, such as ditches, ponds, irrigation channels, or pools are especially at risk.
Information taken from the world health organization website.