As much as we wish they were, swimming pools aren’t all fun and games. In fact, drowning is still the leading cause of death for young children (ages 1-4). The majority of drowning deaths for children ages 1-4 occur in home swimming pools.
But those over the age of 4 are certainly not exempt: drowning is also the fifth leading cause of death for Americans of all ages. Among those ages 1-14, fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of death from unintentional injuries (motor vehicle crashes is the first). Other risk factors, in addition to age, include gender and ethnicity: males and African Americans are most at risk, along with people who have seizure disorders.
Overall, between the years 2005 and 2014, more than 3,500 non-boating-related fatal unintentional drownings occurred in the U.S. That averages out to 10 deaths per day! From 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. Of course, that’s 10 deaths-per-day too many. The good news in all of this is that there are things that you can do, as a homeowner with a pool, to reduce the risk factors related to drowning. Let’s look at the top 3.
Lack of Barriers
The purpose of barriers surrounding your swimming pool is to prevent unsupervised access to water, especially for young children who don’t have the ability to swim. Pool fencing is one type of barrier. A 4-sided isolation fence that separates the pool area from the house as well as the yard has a much greater success rate at reducing a child’s risk of drowning than the more common 3-sided backyard fence that runs along the property line. So as you plan your new backyard oasis, be sure to include a fence with a self-latching door.
Lack of Swimming Ability
While strong swimmers are certainly not exempt from the potential of drowning, formal swimming lessons greatly reduce the risk of drowning. The significance of swimming lessons in drowning prevention is particularly significant in regards to young children. If you have young children, signing them up for a swim class is an important step in helping reduce their chances of drowning.
Lack of Supervision
No barrier or amount of swimming instruction can replace the importance of supervision. Drowning is a quick and silent form of death. In fact, sometimes people are at greater risk when there are many people present; presence is no replacement for careful supervision. Make sure that any friends or family that visit your new pool realize that each adult is responsible to watch his or her own children.
Presence of Alcohol
We all know about the effects of alcohol, and poor judgment and coordination don’t mix well with water. Because the effects of alcohol are intensified with exposure to heat and sunlight, pool-side drinking is a definite no-no. All you have to do is make sure everyone knows you have a no-alcohol policy in or near your pool.
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Since 1979 Lyon Financial has made the backyard resort dream come true for over 400,000 families across the U.S. Through our solid relationships with more than 3,000 pool contractors and our continued commitment to putting our clients first, we have built a reputation as the first choice in providing pool financing solutions. For more information, visit lyonfinancial.net or call (877) 754-5966 today.