Today, is April Pool’s Day. As the weather here in the Phoenix valley warms up, it is a great day to remember the dangers that pools and all water can bring.
Children love pools. They love swimming, splashing and playing with toys and friends in the water. Pools can be LOTS of fun. But we must remember that they are dangerous, too. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, drowning is the leading cause of death in Arizona among children 1 – 4 years of age. Even with fencing and locks, children, even small children, will find a way to get in the water. Even a bucket with water left in it or a toilet can be a drowning hazard. And the biggest thing that many of us forget, is that drowning is silent. Yes, silent. It’s not like on TV. You don’t hear splashing and gasping and gulping and someone trying to get your attention. A someone slips under the water and is never heard from again. Already, this year, we have had near drownings and fatalities. These are accidental deaths. Accidents can be prevented. It is time to make it stop.
How do we fix the problem? Constant supervision around ALL forms of water. Yes, proper barriers around pools are important. Yes, keeping toys out of the pool and pool areas when swimming is done is important. Yes, learning CPR is important. Yes, teaching children to swim when they are old enough is important. Yet, none of these can replace good old fashioned supervision. And NO ONE should ever swim alone. Accidents happen. They can happen to anyone. Constant supervision is the ONLY way to prevent drownings. There must be a designated pool watcher. This person must understand that they have no other job than to watch the people in the pool. No texting while watching. No chatting on the phone while watching. They are not allowed to leave the pool area unless there is another designated water watcher to replace them.
To quote Mr. Dave Munsey, “Watch your kids around water!”
Below are a couple of resources to help you stay safe and keep your loved ones safe.
Enjoy the upcoming pool season, and let’s make it a Happy April Pool’s Day!