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Every year, nearly 300 children under the age of 5 years old drown in residential swimming pools, usually owned by the family. In addition, more than 2,000 children in that same age group are treated for near-drowning injuries.
A child can drown in less time than it takes to answer a telephone call. If a child is missing around the home, always check the pool first. Remember, a child drowning is a silent death. There usually is no splashing to alert someone that the child is in trouble, so seconds count in preventing death or brain damage.
The New Castle Emergency Services would like to share some safety tips, which could help prevent such an accident from occurring:
Completely fence the pool and install self-closing and self-latching gates. Position the latches out of reach of children. The fence should be a minimum of 5 feet in height with no holes or gaps that would allow the passage of a sphere greater than 4 inches in diameter. There should be no more than a 2-inch space between the ground and the bottom of the fence.
- If the house doors access the pool area, install door alarms that produce an audible sound if the door is opened.
- Never consider children "drown-proof" because they have had swimming lessons.
- Keep toys away from the pool area to avoid accidental falls in the pool.
- Keep a telephone at poolside to avoid leaving the children unattended while answering the phone.
- Do not use floatation devices as a substitute for supervision.
- During social gatherings, appoint a "designated watcher" while children are in the pool area.
- Have life saving equipment in the immediate pool area in the event a rescue is necessary.
- Do not place chairs, tables or other objects near pool fences. Children can climb on these items to gain access to the pool.
- Take a CPR from the American Red Cross. For additional information, check their website at http://www.redcross-hhc.org/ or contact them at 325 East Washington St, Muncie, IN 47305 -- (765) 284-3361 (Muncie)