ST. GEORGE – Although most deaths due to drowning occur in the bathtub, two recent incidents in St. George where toddlers have drown in a pool have brought pool safety to the minds of parents and law enforcement.
Officer Johnny Heppler with the St. George Police Department said that a child drowning in a pool is not very common, but when it does happen it is usually an accident where parents did take precautions. A six-year-old who drowned last weekend was supervised by adults and was wearing a life jacket, he said. The adults were immediately in the pool trying to rescue the child, but the child still drowned.
Heppler said many precautions had been taken and he would like all parents and pool owners to know basic safety tips:
– Have a proper fence that secures the pool.
– Ensure your children know how to swim, either with private or public swimming lessons. It is an inexpensive skill that may save your child’s life or somebody else’s.
– Don’t assume children who can swim can’t drown. They still need constant supervision.
– Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool.
– At large gatherings, designate one person as the pool watcher so all adults don’t assume someone else is doing it.
– If a child is missing, check the pool first.
– Don’t allow young children to play near a pool without supervision.
– Don’t use flotation devices as supervision.
– Learn and know CPR.
– Make sure all babysitters are qualified with CPR and pool safety tips.
– Leave rescue equipment near the pool area, as well as a phone for calling 911 in case of emergency.
– Remove toys from pool area when not in use so not to attract young children to the pool.
– Never prop open the gate to a pool.
– Use locking spa covers on pools and hot tubs.
Statistics from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission
– 75% of victims are between the age of 1-3
– 65% of them were boys
– Toddlers in particular can often do unexpected things over night. They may not be able to open the back door to the pool one day, but can do it the next. That age is always at greater risk.
– Most victims were supervised by one or both parents.
– 40% of victims were last seen inside the house.
– 23% were last seen in the yard or patio.
– 69% were not expected to be at or in the pool if they were found in the water.
– 65% happened in a pool owned by family.
– A drowning can happen in the time it takes to answer the phone.
– 77% of victims were missing for 5 minutes or less.
– Most accidents occur quietly. There is rarely splashing that will get the attention of parents.
– Two-thirds of drowning deaths in the home occur in bathtubs
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