We’re all required to learn the rules of the road before we can legally get behind the steering wheel, and I don’t think any of us would say that that’s a bad idea. However, no such legal requirement exists for swimming pool owners. When it comes to swimming pool safety, though, you as a pool owner will do well to educate yourself about the very important safety issues surrounding swimming pools. Of course, drowning is at the forefront of that list.
Statistics About Drowning
Pretending that drowning is not an issue helps no one; educating yourself about this important topic is key to preventing it. The organization SDN, Stop Drowning Now, is passionate about spreading awareness in order to help people understand the risks relating to drowning and prepare to react effectively in case of an emergency. This endeavor begins with several sobering statistics relating to the incidence of deaths by drowning here in the U.S. Consider the following numbers and how they relate to drowning:
- 1 is the ranking of drowning among other unintentional injury-related causes of death for children ages 1-4.
- 10 is the average number of fatal drownings per day.
- 20-60 is the number of seconds it takes for someone to die from drowning.
- 23 is the percentage of drownings that occur during family gatherings near a swimming pool.
- 3500 to 4000 is the number of people who die from drowning each year.
While drowning is certainly most common for the 5-and-under set, it does not discriminate; anyone, of any age or size or swimming level, can die from drowning. At the same time, young children are especially susceptible to it, so that should be taken under consideration. Drowning typically looks nothing like how Hollywood portrays it, with arms flailing and violent splashing; instead, it is often a fast, silent event that goes unnoticed by those nearby.
Safety Precautions for Drowning
There’s no single safety protocol that will insulate you and your family from drowning; instead, consider the driving illustration we mentioned above. Like safety on the road, safety by the pool includes multiple tiers. (You wouldn’t want someone on the road who knew how to drive defensively in inclement weather and yet didn’t know how to approach an intersection, would you?) A top tip from the CDC is to appoint an in-house lifeguard. Insisting on swimming lessons, providing a safety fence, and learning CPR are added precautions that can help you lessen risks of death by drowning at your swimming pool.
In the next part of this series, we’ll explore those recommendations in greater detail. But realize that you don’t want to choose just one; instead, plan to incorporate a multi-faceted safety scenario to reduce the risk of drowning for yourself and those you love.
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