If you own a pool or visit a home that has a pool, remember, drowning deaths among children occur year round in Los Angeles County with most in backyard swimming pools. Most of the toddlers and infants who have drowned in backyard pools or spas were not expected to have been in the pool or spa area but rather somewhere else in the home, either asleep or playing in the home, etc. Drowning-related hospitalizations can often leave children with brain damage and disability. These drowning risks are 100% preventable by following the prevention tips below.
When your pool is "not-in-use"
- Your pool or spa must have a 5-foot minimum high fence that completely surrounds it.
- If the house forms a barrier, install a separation fence. Make sure that all doors & windows leading to the pool area are alarmed and locked.
- If you have a door that leads to your pool or spa, that has a "doggy door", remember that children climb through these.
- Ensure gate is self-closing/self-latching and opens outward away from the pool.
- Keep lawn equipment, chairs, tables away from the fence to prevent a child from climbing over.
- Power operated pool covers must be properly maintained.
- Keep lifesaving ring and shepherd's hook in pool area & know how to use them.
- Make sure that pool/spa gates are locked at all times.
- Remove all inflatable toys from the pool/spa area.
- Make sure the pool/spa gate is locked and turn-on all window and door alarms that lead to the pool/spa area.
- Learn CPR.
- Learn to swim.
When your pool is "in-use"
- Never swim alone.
- When watching children or adults in a pool/spa, supervise them like you are a lifeguard-maintain "active supervision."
- When watching children or adults in a pool/spa, do not read, eat, talk to other, sleep, listen to an audio headset, etc.
- Designate a second adult for breaks.
- An adult who supervises a pool/spa must know how to swim and know CPR.
- Keep phone at poolside for emergency use.
- Know how and when to use lifesaving equipment such as a shephard's hook or lifesaving ring.
- Have children use "the buddy system."
- Children are not "drown-proof" even if they know how to swim.
- Inflatable toys, floaties, floatable swimsuits, are not lifesaving devises and do not replace "active supervision."
- Pool parties: Consider hiring a lifeguard through your local American Red Cross.
- After use, account that everyone is out of the pool.
- After use, remove inflatable toys from pool area.
- After use, ensure self-closing/self-latching gate is working properly.
- After use, lock the gate and turn-on all window or door alarms that lead to the pool area.