The Henry and Stark County Health Departments and their First Choice Healthcare Clinics note that, according to a report from the Home Safety Council, drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury and related death. Drowning incidents may involve any source of standing water, including swimming pools, spas, buckets, bathtubs and toilets.
"Drowning is a sudden and silent danger," notes the Home Safety Council. "Since drowning victims do not make any noise once in distress, constant supervision around any body of water is critical and the best method of prevention."
The Health Department urges families to take the following basic safety precautions around water outdoors and in-home.
- Always practice constant adult supervision around any body of water.
Older children should not be left in charge of younger children in the pool area.
- Install four-sided fencing that isolates the pool from the home.
Four-sided pool fencing is proven to be an effective drowning prevention intervention. While many communities have codes or regulations that require some form of pool fencing, there is not a consistent national standard.
- Pool fencing should be a least five feet high and have self-locking and self-closing gates.
- Position gate latches out of the reach of young children.
- Never prop the gate open or disable the latch.
- Clear debris, clutter and pool toys from the pool deck and adjoining pathways to prevent falls.
- Keep a cordless, water resistant telephone in the pool area and post emergency numbers near the pool area.
- Enroll non-swimmers in swimming lessons taught by a qualified instructor. Pediatricians recommend that children ages 5 and older learn how to swim.
- Never swim alone. Even adults should always swim with a buddy.
- Learn and practice the basic lifesaving techniques, including First Aid and CPR. Insist that anyone who care for your children learn CPR.
- Keep poolside rescue equipment close to the pool area.
- Post emergency numbers and CPR instructions prominently near the pool area.
The Health Department and our First Choice Healthcare Clinics in Kewanee and Colona encourage everyone to follow these important water safety guidelines to ensure that everyone has a fun and safe summer swimming season. You can also find us on Facebook at Henry and Stark County Health Departments or Follow Us On Twitter and Instagram.