While swimming pools provide hours of exercise and enjoyment, accidental drownings in pools, spas and hot tubs are the leading cause of death for children under age 5 and the second-leading cause of death for children 15 and under. Follow these layers of protection mandated in the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act to make your pool or spa safer.
On May 24, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in conjunction with other advocacy groups, launched a public campaign in an effort to prevent accidental drownings, entrapments and other pool-related accidents. Learn how to "Pool Safely."
A Passive Approach Can Be Deadly
Research conducted by the CPSC and other organizations reveals that over-confidence may lead to dangerous complacency among pool and spa users and owners. The "Pool Safely" campaign is guided by the concept that, no matter how many safety measures you set up, you can never be certain which safety step could save a life -- until it actually does.
"Simple steps save lives," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the press conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. "The greatest water safety assurance in pools and spas comes from adopting and practicing as many water safety measures as possible."
- Staying close
- Being alert while watching children in and around the pool
- Learning to swim and practicing water safety skills
Fencing: Keep Them Out of Trouble
Barriers are an obvious layer of safety when you have a pool or spa on your property. Section off your swimming pool, spa or hot tub with a fence or enclosure that is a minimum of 4 feet high. Gates should be equipped so that they are self-closing and self-latching. Make sure the latch is out of reach of small children.
Even though an above-ground pool is raised - above ground - doesn't make it inaccessible to even the smallest child. Install a fence with a locking gate; many systems are available for above-ground swimming pools.
Keep it Covered
There are many types of alarms on the market: for doors, windows, fences, inside the pools or spas, and clip-on types for children to wear. A good alarm will detect unknown entrances to your yard, pool, spa, or hot tub. Research wisely.