Time at the pool can be a fun, warm weather activity for the family, but parents need to take precautions to keep kids safe around water.
“Parents need to pay close attention to their children when they are both in and around the water,” said Geoff Woolard, Fire Marshal with Mooresville Fire-Rescue. “Statistics show unintentional drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages one to four.”
Woolard said that distracted parents, typically on their phones, has led to an increase in drownings or near-drownings for children.
“Be present and aware when your child is in or near water,” he advised.
Another potential danger in the pool is relying on water wings, inner tubes, or floats to keep a child safe.
“The only reliable floatation device is a life jacket, and children should have one on if they do not know how to swim,” Woolard said. “Water wings and floats can slip off.”
Children should also learn to swim and get used to water at an early age, said Woolard.
“Mooresville’s Parks & Recreation, the American Red Cross, and Lowe’s YMCA are a few places that offer swim lessons in the area,” he said.
Woolard suggested learning CPR as well, as “in general, it gives a person a better chance of survival after a drowning event.”
Residents who own a pool should make sure their pool is up to code. Both in-ground and above-ground pools must have a four-foot fence around the pool and a self-latching gate. Parents can also add a pool alarm, which alerts them to someone in the water.
“The fence must be around the pool itself, not the yard,” he explained. “It’s to prevent small children from running out the back door of your home and straight into the water.”
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