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Here is some helpful information on Pool Safety. Drowning & Accident Prevention
NSPI statistics show that drowning and swimming accidents are best prevented by adult supervision, public awareness programs including water safety training for young children, and not drinking alcohol while swimming, diving or soaking. Statistically, most accidents involving drowning or severe injury occur to children under 5 years of age who are unsupervised, cannot swim, and fall into a pool or pool cover with water on top. Toddlers at the age of 2 or 3 are most likely to wander off from a parent's supervision. Barriers such as fences or back doors are often left unlocked. Drowning is NOT accompanied by loud noise or splashing sounds.DROWNING IS SILENT!To prevent child-drowning, there is NO substitute for parental supervision.
The second largest number of accidental injuries occur to teenagers, primarily males. Often the victim has been drinking alcohol and has dove into the pool in an area too shallow for diving, or from a location not intended for diving (like the roof of the house). Many of those who "drink and dive" end up in a wheelchair, if they're lucky. Alcohol and spas are also a potentially lethal combination; the hot water and the alcohol combine to cause individuals to fall asleep and drown in only three feet of water. Other hazards exist, like standing water on top of solid pool covers. Small children and animals can drown in as little as a few inches of water. Cover pumps are available and must be used, or switch to a mesh type safety cover. Solar blankets or solid covers must be completely removed before entering the water. Entrapment by the suction of a single main drain on long hair or small arms and legs has been the cause of drowning in the past. New standards require double main drains or a safety switch to prevent this.
In some areas of the nation, drowning has been the leading cause of accidental death in the home of children under 5 years old. The information below can help parents and caregivers provide young children with the protection they deserve. Each year, nationwide, more than 300 children under 5 years old drown in residential swimming pools, usually a pool owned by their family. Inaddition, more than 2,000 children in that age group are treated in hospital emergency rooms for submersion injures. Medical costs for submersion victims during the initial hospitalization alone can be quite high. Costs can range from an estimated $2,000 for a victim who recovers fully to $80,000 for a victim with severe brain damage. Some severely brain damaged victims have initial hospital stays in excess of 120 days and expenses in excess of $150,000. Many communities have enacted safety regulations governing residential swimming pools -- in-ground and above-ground. It's up to parents to comply with these regulations. Apart from these laws, parents who own pools can take their own precautions to reduce the chances of their youngsters accessing the family pool or spa without adult supervision.
Facts & Figures
The following are just a few facts uncovered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in a comprehensive study of drowning and submersion incidents involving children under 5 years old in Arizona, California, and Florida.
Seventy-five percent of the submersion victims studied by CPSC were between 1 and 3 years old; 65 percent of this group were boys. Toddlers, in particular, often do something unexpected because their capabilities change daily.
At the time of the incidents, most victims were being supervised by one or both parents. Forty-six percent of the victims were last seen in the house; 23 percent were last seen in the yard or on the porch or patio; and 31 percent were in or around the pool before the accident. In all, 69 percent of the children were not expected to be at or in the pool, yet they were found in the water.
Submersion incidents involving children usually happen in familiar surroundings. Sixty-five percent of the incidents happened in a pool owned by the child's family and 33 percent of the incidents happened in a pool owned by friends or relatives.
Pool submersions involving children happen quickly. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a phone. Seventy-seven percent of the victims had been missing from sight for 5 minutes or less.
Survival depends on rescuing the child quickly and restarting the breathing process, even while the child is still in the water. Seconds count in preventing death or brain damage.
Child drowning is a silent death. There's no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble.
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