Assemblyman McKevitt Provides Pool Safety Tips

August 19, 2009

Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt (R,C,I – East Meadow) would like to alert his constituents on pool safety tips to prevent children from being injured or drowning. “It is crucial to always watch smaller children around water. Summertime can be a season of fun and exciting events. However, there are still precautions that every adult should make to ensure the safety and well being of a child around a pool”.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Each year, nationwide, more than 300 children under 5 years old drown in residential swimming pools, usually a pool owned by their family. In addition, more than 2,000 children in that age group are treated in hospital emergency rooms for submersion injures.” These staggering figures are a result of not taking the correct measures to safeguard the area around a pool where the child may reside or not keeping full attention to children around a family friend/relative’s pool or community pool.

Parents who own a home with a swimming pool should take the following precautions to protect their children. First is to place a barrier in the home and/or around the outside of the pool. Placing a fence around the outside of the pool and keeping it locked at all times will help to stop a child from falling in. All release mechanisms on the gate that allow access into the pool should be at least 3 inches below the top of the gate to make certain that the child can not reach the latch. Using a fence as a barrier will also allow a parent more time to locate their child before they may fall into the pool. For above ground pools, any steps or ladders should be securely locked or taken away if the pool is not in use.

Other security methods include installing a door alarm on the door that leads to the pool, which would help to identify when a child has opened a door in the home and heading to the backyard. Other pool alarm systems include SonarGuard, which is an invisible alarm that detects when a child or toddler has fallen into the pool. Also available is the Safety Turtle, which is a portable electronic alarm fence that provides a bracelet for the child to wear. If the child falls into the pool, a siren will immediately go off.

It is important for there to always be a designated “Pool Supervisor” when children are involved. If a child is missing, scan the pool first to see if they have fallen in. Even if your child has had swimming lessons, do not consider them to be great swimmers who do not need supervision. Finally, remove all toys or fun flotation devices from around the pool, being that these types of objects attract children’s attention.

“Seconds count when it comes to children and water. It is very important that all adults understand what steps need to be done in order to keep children safe and healthy.”

For information about this or any other matter that concerns you or your family please contact my district office at (516) 739-5119.