#1. My children can swim so it's OK if they are in the pool without me REALLY watching.
Not really… While your child might be a great swimmer, anyone can drown.
It is hard to believe but a few years ago, two Navy Seals died while swimming and they could have swum circles around your kid and we don't even know your kid!
#2. We don’t have children and therefore we don’t need a fence or a gate around our pool and no one can get in.
Not really … Aside from the fact that some cities require fencing and or gates, there are more and more cases where children manage to get into other people’s pools.
Last year, 9% of the children who drowned, drowned in a neighbor’s pool or spa.
Stop and consider different ways how many ways a child can find to get into a pool; through the doggie door, over the fence, under the fence, through the garage; with a ladder.
Homeowners without kids do not believe that they should incorporate common safety measures for their pools, such as fences, covers, or alarms and parents without pools do not teach because they don’t have kids and many parents who don’t have or use pools don’t teach their children to swim.
As a parent, it is reasonable for you to know which houses have pools in your neighborhood. You can get the information you need from the city planning office.
#3. When kids are in our pool we are always around.
Ah no. Try again… Watching a child while in a pool means doing nothing other than watching.
If you are doing other things while ‘ watching’ your child, then you might as well not be there.
Last year, 8% of the drownings happened in the midst of a large gathering, such as a party, family reunion, or other function where many others were present.
If anyone is truly paying attention then that means no distractions.
This means no talking with someone next to you, no talking on the phone and especially no drinking alcohol.
#4. My child only swims when there is a lifeguard or someone is watching.
Many children were reported to have drowned in a hotel or motel pool, or at a backyard swimming party where some parents assume the presence of a lifeguard or other supervision.
It is always better to watch your own child in a pool.
#5. I am a very careful parent and children are safer in my pool than anywhere else in the neighborhood.
Well, maybe you are but it turns out that the average pool owner is more likely to see a death in their house than someone that has no pool but a loaded gun. In the year 2000 there were 11,000 privately owned pools and 550 children under the age of 10 died in them. Yet during the same year from a population of 200 million privately owned guns, 175 children under 10 years of age died accidentally.
A pool is a wonderful thing to have in our lives but it must be treated with caution.
Safeguard where you can, teach your children to swim, never assume anyone else is watching your child and perhaps most importantly, remember that anyone can drown.