Monday, June 14, 2010

Five Rules to Keep Your Above Ground Pool Safe for Children

An above ground pool is a great way to enjoy summer weather. Just because it's fun for you doesn't mean it isn't a dangerous place for kids. Nearly 300 children under the age of five drown in swimming pools each year in the U.S. In the sunniest states, Arizona, Florida and California, drowning is the most common cause of accidental death among children in that same age group.

Think back to the first time you saw a swimming pool as a child. Remember how it glimmered and rippled, how it reflected and enticed? A swimming pool is a child magnet. Memories of good times spent poolside make children forget the dangers. A serene, placid surface beckons them. Floating toys belie the peril. To prevent a tragedy from occurring in your above ground pool, there are a few common sense rules you should follow.

1. Don't leave children unattended in the pool area. That is the most important rule. Attended means an adult or lifeguard is supervising them, not merely in attendance or napping nearby.

2. Teach your kids to float on their backs as early as possible. Show them how to relax and stay above water. Teach them to tread water with the dog paddle stroke.

3. While you're away from home, keep trespassers out of your above ground pool by building a tall fence with a locking gate. Most insurance policies require this for homeowner policy coverage.

4. Keep a life preserver or other flotation device poolside. A poolside phone connected to a landline is also a good idea, in case of emergency.

5. Clear the pool area at night. Remove all toys and balls. If your pool has a portable staircase, remove it tool.

These few rules and some vigilance will keep your above ground pool safe for all the children in your neighborhood, not just your own.

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