Stay Safe in the Pool this Summer

Jul 01, 2017



According to the CDC, from 2005 to 2014 there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the U.S. This equates to about 10 deaths per day. About one in five people who died from drowning are children 14 and younger.  Following a few safety tips can prevent water and pool-related accidents.
 
Parents play a key role in their child’s safety. It is very important for a parent to enroll their child in swimming lessons to learn the basics of swimming and pool safety. Swimming classes are offered at local YMCAs and some public swimming pools to name a couple. Swimming lessons teach floating techniques, underwater safety, poolside safety, basic swimming strokes, and how to properly jump in the pool. Course information may vary depending on the age of the child.
 
Often, bystanders are the first to aid a drowning victim. Learning CPR can help save a life.  That’s why parents are encouraged to take a CPR course.  For information about where to take CPR classes, contact an area hospital, health department or the local American Red Cross.
 
Floatation devices are great learning tools for children learning to swim. When using a floatation device, check  to see that it works properly, fits and is fastened correctly.   For home pools, proper fencing, barriers, alarms and covers can be lifesaving devices. A fence of at least four feet in height should surround the pool or spa on all sides and should not be climbable for children. The water should only be accessible through a self-closing, self-latching gate. Teach children to never try to climb over the gate or fence. Install a door alarm from the house to the pool area, and keep pool covers in working order. It is also recommended to have a  first aid kit near the pool in case of injury.
 
Pools are fun and refreshing but not always clean. They can hold many forms of bacteria if not cleaned or chemically treated correctly. When taking a toddler or child to the pool who is not potty trained, be sure they have on a swimming diaper. If a child has an open wound or gets one at the pool, always clean it and put a waterproof  Band-aid  over it to prevent infection. It is recommended that everyone rinse off in the shower before and after entering the pool. Showering for only one minute can significantly decrease the amount of bacteria that enters a pool.
 
When going to the pool, never forget about sun protection. Sunscreen and eye protection from UV rays are highly recommended for everyone, especially younger children and babies. Sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours while in the sun, depending on exposure and skin type. Water resistant or waterproof sunscreens lose effectiveness after 40 minutes of water exposure.   Skin Therapist Chelsea Huffman, co-owner of the Lexington, Mo.-based Reflections Salon & Spa, suggests applying sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure to the sun and making sure sunscreen is completely dry when reapplying at the pool before going back into the water. 

Pool chemicals can be very harmful to all skin types. The best way to keep skin healthy is to wash off the chemicals after swimming in the pool, drinking lots of water and keeping the body moisturized.
 
These are only a few tips on how to stay safe this summer at the pool.  Find more information by visiting www.redcross.org or https://www.poolsafely.gov/

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Shayna Heathman

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