DOWNEY - With the warm weather and school holiday upon us, the fun activities of a backyard pool are becoming more and more inviting. A swimming pool is a great source of fun and exercise as well as a fun way to cool off. A backyard pool is a lot of fun but comes with a great amount of responsibility.Drowning is the leading causes of death in young children. Close to 70% of all drowning occur in backyard pools. Most could have been prevented. To help prevent further backyard drowning, please follow the ABC of pool safety. A: Adult Supervision (assign a water watcher). Assign a water watcher who can swim to specifically watch the water. Designate an adult to supervise the children in and around any water areas, especially during gatherings. Never leave children alone - never. If you do have to leave the pool area, take the kids out of the pool. Do not rely on flotation devices. They are not a substitution for knowing how to swim and adult supervision. Post the address of the pool and emergency numbers. Have a phone on the pool deck. Have a safety plan if an emergency occurs (call 911). B: Barriers Install and maintain proper fencing around the pool to separate the swiming area from the play area. Use more than one layer of protection, such as covers, gate alarms and motion-detection devices. All your gates are to be self-closing, self-latching and open outward. Keep all furnishing, deck boxes or anything a child may be able to climb on to open the gate away from the gate. All gates and safety equipment should be inspected often. C: Classes Take classes, learn CPR, first-aid and rescue techniques. Learn swimming skills from qualified instruction. Keep rescue equipment on hand such as a rescue ring or shepherds hook with mounted instruction signs posted. Teach the children in and around your pool proper behaviors in and out of the water. The city of Downey Fire Department wish you all a safe and fun summer in and out of the water. For more information, contact the fire department at (562) 904-7345 or go to abcpoolsafety.org. Michael Hapke is a Downey firefighter, paramedic and ocean lifeguard.
********** Published: June 16, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 9