Summer and swimming pools: They just naturally seem to go together.
But a sad fact of this summertime pairing is that pools can pose a very real danger to children if they are left unattended in or near the water. In fact, drowning is the leading cause of injuries and deaths for children under five in Orange County and throughout California.
In hopes of keeping this summer free from such tragedies, Fullerton’s Firefighters offer the following suggestions:
- NEVER take your eyes off a child when he or she is in or near any body of water, even for a second. Remember: Statistics show children can drown without making any noise or other signs of distress.
- Keep toys, tricycles and other children’s playthings out of the water and away from the pool or spa.
- Don’t consider your children to be “drown-proof” just because you enrolled them in swimming or “water-proofing” classes.
- Don’t rely on inflatable devices to keep your child afloat. They are NOT substitutes for adult supervision.
- Make sure your pool or spa has a fence, wall or safety cover which can guard against unsupervised access. Also, make sure the safety cover is always closed when the pool or spa is not in use.
- Make sure doors leading to the pool or spa area are self-closing AND self-latching. NEVER leave them propped open. Better yet, equip all such doors with exit alarms. Gates should have self-closing, self-latching mechanisms. Latches should be out of reach of children, and kept in proper working order.
- Always drain standing (surface) water from the pool cover. Remember: even a few inches of water can be hazardous, especially to young children.
- Learn how to administer life-saving techniques to children, including cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
- Install a phone or keep a cordless phone in the pool or spa area.
Further pool safety tips may be obtained by calling the Fire Prevention Division of the Fullerton Fire Department at (714) 738-6500.