Township of Anderson, OH

05/17/2019 | News release | Archived content

Keep Pool Safety in Mind This Season

Summertime often includes happy relaxation in and around a swimming pool. Tragically, however, more than 200 children in the U.S. lose their lives each year by drowning in swimming pools.

As Anderson Township pool owners get ready to open their pools for the season, the township's Fire and Rescue Department reminds you to make pool safety a priority.

While not a legal requirement for residents, Chief Rick Martin suggests pool owners prominently post safety rules and other information in visible areas for children and adults to review. 'We're asking all pool owners to include the name and address of the pool location in a prominent place so it is easily seen during an emergency,' he said. '

Make sure everyone in the home knows how to respond in aquatic emergencies and parents know how to perform CPR,' he said. Local organizations offer swimming classes, he noted and many electronic devices can be used to help for safety. 'However, these devices are only intended to back up supervisory vigilance and not replace it. Layering the protection is the best approach.'

'There is no substitution for supervision vigilance,' Martin said. 'We're reminding residents to be especially vigilant for small children even when there are people around the pool. The constant waves/ripples caused by those in a pool can distort the view of the bottom - a child can effectively be rendered invisible at the bottom or other end of the pool,' he said.

Other suggestions offered by Martin include:

  • Create barriers between you and the pool. Surround your pool with a four-foot fence, or with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Use safety covers for pools and hot tubs, and remove ladders or steps, when not in use. All gates leading to pools should be self-closing and self-latching. Remove any 'unintentional ladders' that could be used to get over fences (lawn furniture, trees, woodpiles, old cars, etc.)
  • Active supervision is of high importance. Never let anyone swim alone. Stay close, within arm's reach, of smaller children. Determine which swimmers are inexperienced (or young) and insist they wear an approved life jacket.
  • Enforce safety rules such as 'no running' and 'no horseplay in the pool.' Remind children that they must stay away from drain covers and not dive if not on a diving board.
  • Keep your pool and hot tub clean. Regularly test chemical levels to minimize the risk of rashes, earaches and more serious diseases.
  • Insist babysitters follow your pool rules.
  • Never leave the pool cover partially on when kids are swimming because they might become trapped under it.
  • Keep toys away from the pool when the pool is not in use.
  • Empty blow-up pools after each use.

Pools with diving boards pose an extra risk, Martin noted. Pools must have a depth of at least 8 feet in the diving area that is vividly marked on the pool deck or wall.

A study from the Consumer Products Safety Commission found that pool submersions involving children happen quickly, Martin noted. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a phone. More than three out of four of the victims (77 percent) in a recent study had been missing from sight for five minutes or less.

'Many pool-related injuries and deaths are preventable, so we ask our residents to use caution when having fun this summer,' Martin said.