Mesatemperatures have been flirting with the 90s, and with this warmer weather, it’s time to remind children and parents alike to have increased awareness around swimming pools and other standing bodies of water. Mesa Fire Department and local media are large advocates for promoting water safety events throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area during peak season.
Swimming pool accidents, including fatal drownings, are traumatic experiences for victims and loved ones. However, child drownings and injuries from water activities are preventable. Simply put, water safety awareness could just prevent another child drowning.
Never Too Early to Learn to Swim
The skill of swimming is a life-saving one. Swimming courses are available for a variety of ages and help students learn to breathe and maneuver to safety if they should suddenly find themselves in a body of water unexpectedly. Use the zip code tool to locate an American Red Cross Water Class available near you!
Inspect Your Pool Fencing Equipment
No matter how secure your latch or lock is on your pool fence, inspect all areas of your fencing to ensure no corrosion has occurred to create any loose rails that children or pets could manipulate to get to the water source. Water and metals often over time create rust, a chemical reaction that weakens the metal structure. Your pool fence will not be secure forever, but regular maintenance and checks can help prolong its life and protect your loved ones.
For those who elect to use collapsible pools, establish boundaries with your children for water play time and keep the equipment out of use, so your young children cannot self-help or encourage others to set up the pool without your permission. It is widely suggested among a variety of water safety sources to set rules that children cannot play in pools unattended. When pool time is allotted, be sure to have supervision by those who are able to administer CPR if necessary.
There are many resources available to help you be educated on water safety. Feel free to look at the following resources as you prepare for this year’s pool season!
- Pool Safety by Phoenix Association of Realtors
- Water Safety Programs by Phoenix Children’s Hospital
- Water Safety Tips for Community Pools or Water Parks by Wet‘n’Wild Phoenix
- Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Video by Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona
During the summer in Arizona, swimming pools are practically mandatory for keeping cool and refreshed. However, if the right safety precautions aren’t taken, pools can result in very serious injuries and fatalities, particularly for inexperienced swimmers and young children. In fact, drowning is the leading cause of death in Mesa for children under the age of five. Keep your pool safe by following these tips:
Always supervise children near pools. Even if your child is not in the water, make sure to have at least one adult watching in case of an accident. Drowning can take place in as little as a few inches of water within a few minutes, so it’s important to stay vigilant.
Don’t substitute flotation devices for proper supervision. Even the best floatation devices cannot adequately protect inexperienced swimmers from drowning.
Don’t run near pools. Pool decks can be slippery, so be extra cautious when walking near pools to avoid slips and falls.
Look before you leap. Diving and jumping into too-shallow water results in thousands of injuries and death in the U.S. each year. Before jumping or diving, make sure the area is clear and the pool is deep enough.
Keep a first aid kit, rescue equipment and emergency contacts handy. In case of an emergency, make sure supplies and important phone numbers are easily accessible.
Fence your pool. In Mesa, all homeowners are required to completely fence their pools, spas and hot tubs to prevent drownings. According to the law, homeowners must enclose their pools with a non-scalable (at least five feet high) fence with a self-latching gate (the latch must be out of the reach of small children).
Negligence on the part of the pool owner, including improper supervision, can lead to very serious consequences. If you or a loved one has been injured in a swimming pool accident in the Mesa area, the personal injury attorneys at Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience can make sure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. Please call us toll-free at (800) 501-2782 or visit www.sgplaw.com for more information.