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When the hot season begins and families flock to the swimming pools or to the beach, there are also news about people who die by drowning. Unfortunately every summer we know of several cases of children dying in swimming pools or in the sea. More than 50% of childhood drowning deaths occur in private swimming pools. In addition, 85% of these deaths could be avoided with proper fencing of the pools and teaching them to swim as soon as possible. We give you 10 tips for children not to drown in swimming pools.
Although it seems that we have a thousand eyes with children in the pools, the truth is that it is easy to get lost for a second, and for children to disappear from our sight. When we are in the pool any mistake can be fatal, parents can and should put some basic precautionary measures to avoid a greater evil. Parents cannot lower our guard!
Did you know that a baby can drown in a pool that covers only 12 inches? To try to minimize these accidents, the National Association for Child Safety has developed a decalogue that all parents should take into account to enjoy a quiet summer with the family.
1. Continuous monitoring
There is no substitute for adult supervision, so strict vigilance and permanent control are essential. A person in charge of supervision should be “appointed” or take turns, so as not to fall into the mistake of trusting that someone else is observing the children and, later, turn out not to be.
2. 10/20 rule
Every 10 seconds, the adult responsible for surveillance must look at the pool to check if there are children in or around it and must be able to reach them in less than 20 seconds, or what is the same, must be able to reach the child with arm. You have to avoid any distractions, which are very common today with the use of mobile phones and social networks.
3. Detect risks
Evaluate if the little one could reach the pool by himself in an oversight. To do this, we can walk the path from home or grass to the pool just as the child would.
4. Levels of protection
Depending on the risks detected and the characteristics of the house, security devices will be installed to prevent the child from reaching the pool, both from inside the house and from outside (fences, closing doors ...).
5. Learning and education
Children should learn to float first and swim later. Even with this learning, we cannot forget that there can be possible accidents such as falls and blows or even poor digestion, which can shock the child, so it is still essential to take into account the 10/20 rule.
6. Rescue devices
Have basic rescue equipment on hand: life jacket, pole and telephone.
The best habit is to collect toys and other floating items that may be attractive to the child and these should be kept away from the pool and its surroundings after use. In this way we prevent the child from trying to reach them.
Reviewing and maintaining these elements, as well as keeping children away from the mechanical parts and filters of the pool are the best preventive measures to avoid injuries or staying submerged by suction without the possibility of surfacing. Adults must know how to disconnect these devices.
9. Security elements in compliance
All active safety elements (pool fences and covers), which prevent the child's direct contact with water, must comply with the AFNOR Standards. On the other hand, activate the passive safety elements (perimeter alarms and immersion alarms), which warn us when the child has already entered the water, so the adult's reaction time is shortened.
In any case, you must have a retention and warning device, as it is the best way to avoid drowning! If you need flotation elements, these must be vests (forget about floats and sleeves), always with the CE Marking and suitable for each child.
Adults and children should internalize the procedure in case of an emergency due to drowning: PAS (Protect, Alert and Help), emergency telephone number in the city (1-1-2) and learn how to do CPR.
You can read more articles similar to Decalogue so that children do not drown in swimming pools, in the category of child accidents on site.