Don’t forget pool safety this summer!

Don’t  forget  pool  safety  this summer!By TIMMY NEIPP II

News Review Correspondent

Now that school is out, and summer has finally arrived, many families are looking to beat the heat in the pool. However, officials offer the following reminders for keeping everyone safe and healthy on the deck and in the water.

According to a recent article in Service Industry News, a periodical for pool professionals, more than 3,00 deaths occur each year in the United States because of drowning. In addition to that statistic, more than half of the individuals who survive a threat in the water sustain mild to serious brain damage.

In that same May edition of Service Industry News, one mother, who also happened to be a pool professional, recounted the death of her son — whose death she attributed to insufficient safety structures around the pool.

According to this mother, the cover was off while the pool was being serviced — and had to be left off temporarily because of the high concentration of chlorine.

Because of this requirement, professionals recommend that a fence must be installed around home pools to prevent accidents of this nature.

Other inherent risks in home pools are pool drains that have high enough vacuum pressure to effectively trap young children underwater.

Even electrocution is a risk if the mechanical components malfunction, which can then turn the water into a conduit for electricity. Frequent maintenance checks on the condition of the pool are also important.

Kern County Department of Public Health reported that in 2015, the year for which recent statistics were available, there were 12 drowning incidents in the county that resulted in death. Four of these occurred in a pool. In addition to the drowning deaths, 23 drowning incidents were reported via 9-1-1 — and authorities suspect that many more went unreported.

In order to minimize the risks of drowning, authorities recommend adequate fencing and covers, as well as constant adult supervision while children are in or around the pool. Officials warn that a child may struggle for only seconds, on the surface or under water, before succumbing to drowning — making supervision as important as any other safety precaution.

Another major point that health department officials emphasize is learning CPR. “Know what to do in an emergency,” said a spokesperson of KCDPH. “Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save a child’s life.”

Swimming instruction, especially in young children, is another critical safety precaution. The county health department reports that among preventable injuries, drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages 1-4.

“Teach children how to swim,” said the spokesperson. “Every child is different, so enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready. Consider their age, development and how often they are around water.”

Story First Published: 2017-06-09