Include Safety Planning In Preparing Pools For Swimming Season

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Preparing Pools For Swimming Season

Preparing the family backyard swimming pool for a summer's use is also the time to review your safety plans for the upcoming season.

"Unfortunately, each year in the United States, approximately 350 to 400 persons are lost due to drowning deaths in public and backyard pools," said Edward Rumen, department Public Information Officer. "Tragically, the majority of those accidental fatalities are children, aged five or younger."

Ella Boyd, VMD, Public Health Coordinator, said children who drowned usually gained easy access to the pool or were left unsupervised.

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"Younger children, even those who can swim, should never be left unsupervised in a pool or pool area," Dr. Boyd said. "An adult should always be close at hand, watching the child or children at play. For infants or toddlers, that distance should be no more than an arm's length away."

"Every teen and adult family member living in a home with a pool should know CPR, including babysitters and grandparents or other relatives who frequently visit and care for children," said Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Board of Health. "There are numerous organizations in the Ocean County area that offer CPR courses to the public for free or at a nominal cost."

"The most important safety feature for any swimming pool is a childproof fence surrounding it," Rumen said. "A self-locking gate is important for safety. Also, check with your municipal code enforcement officer for the standards in your community."

He added that above ground pools should have the access locked or blocked with not in use. "If the entrance to the pool is by use of a ladder-type system, that should be removed and secured elsewhere when the pool is not in use," he stated.

Other pool rules that should be followed for a safe swimming season include:

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