So you have a swimming pool now, but have you taken all the necessary safety measures that are now available? Here are some of the most popular and effective safety devices.
· Door and Window Safety Alarms: Every door or window that has access to the pool area should have one.
· Wearable Alarms: Worn on the child’s wrist like a watch, these are reliable devices but they do not prevent the wearer from falling into the pool. You will still have an emergency on your hands.
· In pool Alarms: Whether you have surface or submerged alarms, both types rely on the victim struggling enough to trigger the alarm. Research shows that not all victims struggle enough to trigger pool alarms.
· Fences and Gates: Fences with proper functioning gates are probably the best way to go. Just make sure there are no stackable objects or chairs near the fence that can aid a child in getting over the fence. Don’t just rely on your pool fence. Sometimes gate locks and latches malfunction and allow children access.
· Pool Covers: Pool covers have been known to cause accidents of their own and children have been suffocated by them while others become trapped underneath them. Do your research before purchasing one.
The Reliability Issue
You may have the best, most expensive safety devices available, but they are still subject to failure. Even the most sophisticated device can experience battery problems, mechanical problems, and software problems. Any one of these can spell disaster if your child falls into your pool. Most of the time, adult supervision is enough, but they can be distracted as well. You may be watching your child around the pool area but what if you get a cry for help in the house away from the pool. Are you going to think to pull your child away from, or out of the pool before coming to the rescue of the other child? Distractions as benign as the doorbell or landline ringing can pull your attention away long enough for disaster to strike. The best answer here seems to be the layered approach to pool safety. Employ as many of the mechanical safety devices as you deem necessary, and watch your children like you don’t have any other safety device in place.
Your Last Safety Measure
Even though you have taken every possible step to protect your little ones, disasters have a way of sneaking up on people. For that reason it’s important for every parent to know how to swim as well as how to assist a person who is drowning. It only takes a few minutes for a curious child to wander too close to the pools edge, or too far out at the beach. In the time it takes for you to turn around to respond to a question or anything that can take your eyes off your child, and suddenly he/she is underwater. Once underwater your child will lose consciousness very fast and after just four minutes the brain starts to die from lack of oxygen. You may end up saving your child, but he/she may have to live with disabilities the rest of his life.
If you’re going to learn CPR it’s important that you learn not only on adults, but learn how to perform it on infants and children, as well. You’ll notice that things like depth and rate of compressions, volume of breath, and the number of breaths per compression changes when you’re performing CPR on infants. If you press too hard on a child’s sternum you could crack it or the ribs which could easily puncture the lungs causing more complications. The more you can do before the paramedics arrive the greater chance of survival the drowning victim has. It’s all about making sure the brain and other vital organs have adequate oxygen and that starts with you as soon as you pull the drowning victim from the water.
Nothing takes the place of close parental or adult supervision. However, statistics show that over 80% of all accidental drowning deaths occurred while one or both parents were supervising the victim. For that reason it’s important to have more than one safety measure in place.