The month of May is National Water Safety Month: “an annual awareness campaign coordinated by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals w
ith support from the National Recreation & Parks Association, the American Red Cross, and the World Waterpark Association.”
Chapter 14 of our Pool & Spa Operator Handbook is entitled, “Facility Safety.” Many safety topics are covered: Training,
Access, Entrapment, The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act, Chemical Safety and Storage AND Drowning. Let me quote a paragraph from page 177 of our Handbook:
“According to the CDC (www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars), drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death with children between 1 and 14 years of age; motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause. In 2005, there were 3,582 unintentional drownings deaths in the United Sates, averaging ten deaths per day. There were 746 unintentional drowning deaths in children between the ages of 1-14. In the same year there were an additional 2,822 non-fatal drowning injuries in children of the same age range.”
Drowning is not the second leading cause but THE leading cause of death in children of this age group in California and Orange County. Read the report here.
WOW! Unbelievable! And the tragedy of this fact is that drowning is 100% preventable. Prevention starts with AWARENESS — knowing and being aware that our swimming pools can and ARE drowning our children.
Here are a few preventive measures when children are in and around the swimming pool:
- Make sure an adult is assigned solely to watch the children in the pool — that means that they do not talk to other adults while on duty — implement a Water Watcher Program.
- Consider hiring a life guard as a Water Watcher at your next party.
- Control access around the pool.
- Check the water depth before entering.
- Do not use air-filled or foam toys in place of life jackets.
- Do not swim alone.
- Instruct children never to attempt to swim in situations beyond their skill level.
- Ensure that suction outlet covers (main drains and side suction outlets) are in place, secured and not broken or cracked.
- Only allow swimming when the bottom of the pool is clearly visible.
- Do not leave toys floating in the pool, which might entice a child to reach out for them.
Here’s a great Video about Drowning Prevention. Please take a few minutes to view it.
Again we thank our sponsor, PoolCorp, the great hospitality from the folks at the Superior Building in Anaheim. And again, a special thanks to Brian and Steve for hauling our equipment and supplies upstairs — you guys are AWESOME!