When the heat is rising the water starts calling all of us, but especially the kids.
Since the start of the year, there have been 59 water incidents in Maricopa and Pinal counties. Eight of these water incidents turned deadly for children.
Lori Schmidt with Drowning Prevention Coalition AZ says even the most careful parents can miss a few safety spots. You have to control the access points to the pool starting with any outside gates, you never know when a curious little one will seize a window of opportunity.
"We always want to make sure the gates are locked but also that it has a good spring so when it's opened it shuts and latches automatically," said Schmidt.
Water Safety Tips:
- A pool fence is a must and Schmidt points out that you check to make sure the springs are tight so it self-closes.
- Watch for rust spots along the fence; a motivated child could push the fence down.
- If you have pets, make sure they don't dig holes that little ones can squeeze under.
- Keep any large objects that could be used as steps away from both sides of the fence.
- Even for homes that don't have kids but could have a few young visitors during pool parties, make sure you're not defeating the purpose of safety tools.
- If you have a pool net or cover, put it on as soon as everyone is out of the pool.
- Door alarms and heavy, high latches are an excellent safety tool as long as you're not propping the door open for your guests.
- Don't leave pool toys in the water to entice young children.
ABC's of water safety:
- Adult supervision. Designate a 'Water Watcher' or hire a lifeguard for parties. The rule of thumb is 1) hands-on kids under four and 2) eyes on older kids;
- Barriers in place;
- Classes so children and adults know how to swim.
There is little chance, with so many pools in Arizona that we are going to get through the summer without pool accidents, but with attention, supervision, and diligence, perhaps we can eliminate some of these?
Let’s all work together to make 2018 a safe of a pool season as we can.