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Child Safety Guidelines for Homeowners with Swimming Pools

Each year in the U.S., about 300 children under five years old drown in family pools and more than 2,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for pool-related injuries according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. There were 118 drowning and near-drowning incidents across the country in the first five months of 2011.

The commission and the DeKalb County Board of Health’s Environmental Health Services offer tips to help prevent drowning:

  • Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool. During social gatherings at or near a pool, appoint a “water watcher” to protect young children from pool accidents.  Adults may take turns being the “water watcher.”
  • Instruct family members about potential pool hazards and how to use protection devices, such as a floating pool alarm, a door alarm, an alarm gate and a self- latching gate.
  • If a child is missing, check the pool first.  Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom and surface, as well as the pool area.
  • Do not allow a young child in the pool without an adult.
  • Do not allow a child in pool water that is too cloudy to see main the drains.
  • Do not use flotation devices as substitute for supervision.
  • Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Babysitters and other caretakers, such as grandparents and older siblings, should also know CPR.
  • Keep rescue equipment by the pool.  Be sure a telephone is at poolside with emergency numbers posted nearby.
  • Remove toys from in and around the pool when it is not in use.
  • Never prop open the gate of a fence around a pool.

For additional information, call the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-638-2772 or visit:

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