First Aid for Drowning

The Rules of the Pool

Pools are a lot of fun -- but they can also be dangerous, especially for children. In fact, the majority of drownings occur at residential pools. A child is at risk when he is inadequately supervised or when adults -- or the child himself -- overestimate his swimming ability. Follow these steps to keep your pool as safe as possible.

Install a high (at least five feet) fence

on all sides of the pool that separates it from the play area, with a self-closing, self-latching gate.

Keep rescue equipment

pole, rope, kickboards, and life preservers -- near the pool and in an easy-to-reach location.

Have a telephone at the pool for emergencies

and post step-by-step CPR instructions nearby.

Never take your eyes off your child when she is in the pool area.

Water wings, rafts, and even swimming lessons are not adequate protection against drowning.

Keep the area around the pool clean,

and don't leave toys in or around it, because they could entice children to the water.

If your child is missing, check the pool first,

since children can drown in only a few minutes. Go to the pool's edge and scan the entire surface.

If possible, keep the pool covered when it's not in use.

Make sure the cover fits securely over the pool's entire surface. Otherwise, a child may get under it and become trapped.

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