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You would be mortified if you saw a gun left on a kitchen counter in a house with toddlers scampering about. Why don’t you have the same reaction when you see an unprotected pool, since we know the pool is a much bigger threat? In 2007, nearly 700 children fatally drown. For every child who dies from drowning, another four children are sent to the ER for nonfatal submersion injuries, many becoming permanently disabled. (Source: CDC)
How does it happen?
69% of fatal drowning incidents occur while one or both parents were responsible for supervising the child. Many of these are good, loving parents – like your friends, like your neighbors, like you.
77% of these children had been seen five minutes before being found in the pool. 46% were last seen IN THE HOUSE. (Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission)
What can you do?
Parent supervision is the most important step, but it can and does fail. No one can watch an active toddler every moment of every day. The annoying neighbor rings the door bell to borrow milk (again), your burning dinner sets the fire alarm off, your seven year old runs inside with a bloody nose, you drop a frozen pork chop on your toe – distractions happen. It only takes minutes for your life to be turned upside down forever.
The solution is to implement layers of protection. In addition to active parent supervision, Life Saver Systems recommends:
- High locks and alarms on all doors and windows with pool access.
- A pool fence isolating the pool from the home and all access points.
- Alarms both in the pool and worn on the child.
- Water survival training as soon as the child is crawling.
- CPR and rescue techniques – your final layer of defense.
The more layers you have, the safer your pool area. If there is a lapse in supervision, for whatever reason, all must fail before a drowning can occur.
What can you do right now?
Far more children die each year from drowning than from the heavily publicized H1N1 “swine” flu, but pool safety receives a tiny fraction of the media coverage in comparison. This web site can help change that. Share it with your friends, family, on your Facebook, your Twitter, by email… everywhere. Pool safety education saves lives. You never know whose life you might save just by sharing this infographic right now.
Layers of Protection Include:
In 1987, Life Saver coined the phrase “layers of protection” to describe the most effective way to prevent drownings. Almost 30 years later, everyone (including the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance) recommends layers of protection.