Special Precautions Should be Taken When Around Pools This Summer
Wishard Health Services offers tips and advice to keep safe at the pool
Contact: Todd Harper
Phone: (317) 630-7808
Pager: (317) 310-5972
, July 25, 2012 -- With the summer heat turned up, more and more people are taking to the water to stay cool. This is also the time of the year when the risk of drowning is higher. Doctors stress that it is important for swimmers to take extra caution when enjoying a dip.
In the United States, drowning remains the second leading cause of accidental injury-related death among children ages 1 to 14, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol use is involved in up to half of adult deaths associated with water recreation.
"Summer is supposed to be a time of getting out and enjoying the warm weather and having fun. It is so important for parents and anyone with a pool to pay special attention to help prevent a terrible accident from occurring," said Dr. John Boe, an emergency medicine physician at Wishard Health Services
and associate professor for the IU School of Medicine.
Statistics show there are approximately 260 drowning deaths of children younger than age 5 each year in swimming pools, and an estimated 2,725 children are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for pool submersion injuries occurring mostly in residential pools.
Adults also need to take precautions while swimming. The CDC stresses it is important that when diving into a pool, you need to make sure it is deep enough before going headfirst. If the water is too shallow, serious injury can result.
Dr. Boe stressed that simple steps can be taken to ensure pool safety. Tips include:
- Keep rescue equipment (such as a shepherd's hook or life preserver) and a telephone by the pool.
- Practice “touch supervision” with children younger than 5 years old. This means that the adult is within an arm's length of the child at all times. Adults should not swim alone either.
- Do not use air-filled "swimming aids" as a substitute for approved life vests. Look for the American Coast Guard seal of approval.
- A power safety cover that meets the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) may add to the protection of your children but should not be used in place of a fence between a house and a pool. Even fencing around your pool and using a power safety cover will not prevent all drownings.
For more information about pool safety tips, talk to a primary care physician by calling Health Connection at Wishard