Building codes have required fences around swimming pools for a number of years, but many people don’t really understand the reason for this requirement. The CDC explains the reasoning — “Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.” If you don’t currently have a barrier around your pool, we implore you to have one installed before it’s too late!
Did you know…
Approximately 20% of people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger, and for every child who dies from drowning, there are another 5 that are treated in the emergency room for nonfatal submersion injuries. Most people believe that this could never happen in their own pool. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as is evidenced by the following sobering statistics:
- One or both parents were supervising most drowning victims when the swimming pool accident happened.
- 65% of swimming pool accidents happened in a pool owned by the victim’s immediate family; 33% of swimming pool accidents occurred in pools owned by friends or relatives.
- 77% of victims had been missing for 5 minutes or less when they were found in the pool.
After considering these statistics, do you still think a drowning couldn’t happen in your pool?
Pool barriers are a must…
The best way to reduce the likelihood of an accidental drowning in your pool is to construct and maintain a barrier that will prevent young children from gaining access to your pool. The chosen barrier must meet New York’s barrier (fence) requirements for outdoor residential swimming pools.
Additional safety precautions…
Just because you have a code-compliant barrier installed does not guarantee that accidents won’t happen. However, there are some safety precautions that can help protect people in your pool from drowning:
- Never leave a child unattended in or near the pool (not even for a moment). There’s no substitute for adult supervision.
- An adult who knows CPR should actively supervise swimmers at all times.
- It is highly recommended that you practice touch supervision with children younger than 5 (this means you should be within arm’s length of the child at all times).
- Remove all pool toys after use to prevent children from being tempted to reach for them.
- Secure the pool once everyone is done swimming to prevent unwanted access.
Understand that just because someone knows how to swim does not mean that he/she is safe in water. Fences, gates, pool covers and alarms cannot prevent drownings if they’re not installed and used correctly. It’s also important to remember that there may be other local codes and zoning requirements in your specific location. Fear not, however, because the pros here at Northeastern Fences can make sure that they’re all met. If you’d like to know more or are interested in scheduling an appointment, give us a call today!