Officials say you can't stress enough the rules for pool safety. The more times they are mentioned, the more likely they are to be followed. NSPI, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and other agencies preach pool rules, knowing that constant reminders are key. Here are some of the most important rules to swim by:
- Instruct baby-sitters about potential pool hazards to young children and about the use of protective devices, such as door alarms and latches. Emphasize the need for constant supervision.
- Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool. During social gatherings at or near a pool, appoint a "designated watcher" to protect young children from pool accidents. Adults may take turns being the "watcher". Otherwise, adults may become pre-occupied and assume someone else is watching the children.
- If a child is missing, check the pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom and surface, as well as the pool area.
- Do not allow a young child in the pool without an adult.
- Do not consider young children to be drown-proof because they have had swimming lessons or are wearing a life jacket.
- Do not use flotation devices, such as water wings, as a substitute for supervision.
- Learn CPR. Baby-sitters and other caretakers, such as grandparents and older siblings, should also know CPR.
- Keep rescue equipment by the pool. Be sure a telephone is poolside with emergency numbers posted nearby.
- Remove toys from in and around the pool when it is not in use. Toys can attract young children to the pool.
- Never prop open the gate to a pool.
- Keep CD players, radios, and other electrical devices away from pools or nearby wet surfaces.
- Stay out of the pool during rain, thunder, and lightning storms.
- No glass of any kind in the pool area.
- No running, pushing, wrestling or disturbance in the pool area.
- No chewing gum permitted in the pool area.
- Don't let long hair get near a pool outlet. The suction can cause hair or body entrapment and drowning.
- Have a First Aid kit with resuscitation equipment (i.e. Personal Resuscitation Mask or Personal Resuscitation Shield) and Body Substance Isolation equipment at poolside.
- Never swim alone.
- No jumping or diving in the shallow area of the pool.
- Don't allow children to "play" as though they are drowning - a false alarm might delay a rescue in the event of a real emergency.
- When diving, always enter the water with your arms extended firmly overhead and keep your hands together to protect your head. Never dive in less than 9' of water and always have at least 25' of clearance in front of you before you dive. Diving into shallow water can result in cervical spine injuries causing permanent paralysis. Never dive into an above-ground pool.
- Avoid the use of alcohol or other drugs around the water.
Information obtained from www.lifesaving.com