NSF Intl. urges pool owners to follow five steps to prevent drowning and injury
Last year, more than 200 children ages one to 14 drowned in a swimming pool or spa, and three out of four were under the age of five.1 To prevent injuries at the pool or spa this summer, NSF Intl. recommends following these five simple tips.
1. Use and store chemicals properly: Mishandling of pool chemicals causes 4,000 emergency room visits each year.2 Be sure to replace pool chemicals past their expiration dates, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and, most importantly, store chemicals out of reach of children.
2. Do not forget about that pool/spa cover: Within 10 to 20 seconds, a partially removed pool/spa cover could return to its original position, hiding someone underneath. Be sure to remove covers completely before using a pool or spa and drain any standing water from the cover surface, especially after rain.
3. Pay attention to drain covers: Between 2008 and 2012, 39 people were trapped in pool/spa drains, including two children who died. Do not let anyone play on or near drains and be sure to purchase drain covers that meet current Pool & Spa Safety Act requirements, ensure they are properly installed, and, most importantly, know where the emergency shutoff switch is located and how to use it.
4. Use pool alarms: Most young children who drown in pools were out of sight for less than five minutes. In addition to a fence, consider a certified pool alarm, such as those worn on a child’s wrist, that alerts parents if they fall into the water, a surface wave sensor that floats on the water surface or a subsurface disturbance sensor mounted to the pool wall.
5. Always supervise kids using the pool: Be sure to establish and enforce rules for pool and spa use, do not allow kids to run or play games near the pool, keep toys, particularly wheeled toys, away from the pool, and make sure you know whether anyone using your pool cannot swim.
1. Consumer Product Safety Commission
2. U.S. Centers for Disease Control