Drowning is more common than you might expect, and homeowners need to take steps to make sure their pools are safe
With an average of 10 people dying of drowning in the United States every day, drowning has become more than an occasional tragedy. Now the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S., drowning will only continue to increase unless parents, residents, homeowners, and other individuals create safe pool environments and practice better pool safety in the future.
One of the aspects that make drowning such a pressing issue is that, unlike other causes of death, it disproportionately affects young children. Sadly, child drowning has become so common that an average of two children age 14 and younger die each day from drowning in the United States. Despite the risks, if you follow proper safety precautions, you can almost guarantee that a drowning never happens on your property.
Creating multiple layers of protection around a pool is essential to prevent drowning accidents
In order to prevent children and other vulnerable individuals from drowning, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggests that homeowners and/or home or apartment residents should create a system of multiple barriers to surround a pool. It’s also essential to make sure that fences or walls have self-closing, self-latching gates. These can greatly reduce the chance of a door or gate being accidently left open, which in turn reduces the chance of a child gaining entry to a pool, spa, or jacuzzi area.
While it may seem obvious, it’s incredibly important that pool barriers completely surround the pool and poolside area to prevent accidental drowning by children. Even a few inches of broken or removed fencing may be more than enough for a small child to squeeze through, so any breaches or breaks in the pool fence or wall should be repaired immediately.
Power safety covers can provide homeowners an additional degree of protection from child drowning
In the case that a pool is directly set against a house, and it is not possible to place a barrier or fence between the two, homeowners should seriously consider purchasing a power safety cover to place over the pool. In fact, the CPSC recommends power safety covers be placed in all homes, regardless of whether children live at, visit, or live nearby the property.
When a child is missing, the pool should always be searched first
Sadly, in many drowning tragedies, the pool is the last placed in a home or apartment complex that is searched. When it comes to drowning, every second counts, so pools or spa areas should always be searched first when a child cannot be located, no matter what. The chance of a child getting run over by a car or snatched by a stranger is significantly less than a child’s chance of drowning. Additionally, car accidents and kidnappings may only lead to minor injury in many cases. Drowning, however, is nearly always lethal.
Contrary to popular perception, drowning is not noisy; it’s silent
Unfortunately, many parents mistakenly believe that a drowning child will be able to create a lot of noise, therefore giving parents or other caregivers the ability to rescue them. Sadly, this is not the case. Drowning happens underwater and is nearly completely silent above the surface. This means that drowning children will not be able to give parents any advanced vocal warning of their predicament. They will also likely not be able to visibly signal or gesture at all, as drowning individuals are often mostly or completely underwater.
All this means that, to prevent child drowning, parents and other caregivers must keep their eyes on children always, especially when an unsecured pool or another water source is nearby. It’s always the adult’s responsibility to closely monitor children near pools. This is the only way to keep them entirely safe from the tragedy of child drowning.
To learn more about home and life safety tips that can help protect you and your family from a variety of disasters, contact Avante Insurance today for a free consultation.