Toilets & Toddlers Danger (cont.)

Swimming Pools

Consumers with residential pools need to be aware of all the safety tips regarding in-home hazards, and also be aware of how to protect young children from the dangers a pool poses.

The key to preventing a swimming pool tragedy is to have layers of protection. This includes placing barriers around your pool to prevent access, using door and pool alarms, closely supervising your child and being prepared in case of an emergency. CPSC offers these tips to prevent pool drowning:

  • Fences and walls should be at least 4 feet high and installed completely around the pool. Fence gates should open outward from the pool and should be self-closing and self- latching. The latch should be out of a small child's reach.
  • If your house forms one side of the barrier to the pool, then doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected with alarms that produce a sound when a door is unexpectedly opened.
  • A power safety cover -- a motor-powered barrier that can be placed over the water area -- can be used when the pool is not in use.
  • Keep rescue equipment by the pool and be sure a phone is poolside with emergency numbers posted.
  • For above-ground pools, steps and ladders to the pool should be secured and locked, or removed when the pool is not in use.
  • If a child is missing, always look in the pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Pool alarms can be used as an added precaution.

CPSC offers free publications consumers can use to help prevent child drowning: "Safety Barrier Guidelines for Pools," "How to Plan for the Unexpected," "Guidelines for Entrapment Hazards: Making Pools and Spas Safer," and "Prevent Child In-Home Drowning Deaths." Copies of these publications can be obtained here on CPSC's website, or by writing to "Prevent Drowning," CPSC, Washington, D.C., 20207.

The above information has been provided with the permission of the CDC.
Last Editorial Review: 5/24/2002



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