Summer is fast approaching Tucson which can mean endless hours of splashing in the pool for many families. Sombra Homes would like to pass on important safety tips to the many homeowners who own a pool or plan to take their children to the community pools.
Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death for children ages 1 to 14. Start by learning the ABC’s of Water Safety.
A Adult Supervision. Always watch your child around all bodies of water (pool, spa, bathtub, lake, etc.). Never leave them alone!
B Barriers. Install and maintain an isolation fence separating your pool and spa from the house and play yard. The State of Arizona law requires that barriers must:
- Entirely enclose the pool area
- Be at least 5’ high, measured on the outside of the barrier
- Not have openings, handholds or footholds that can be used to climb the barrier. Wire mesh or chain link fences shall have a maximum mesh size of 1 3/4” measured horizontally
- Have no openings through which a sphere of 4” in diameter can pass
- Be at least 20” from the water’s edge
- Prevent direct access from the house to the pool
The gate to your pool must be self-closing and self-latching with the latch located at least 54” above the ground or on the pool side with a release mechanism at least 5” below the top of the gate; or gate must be secured by a padlock or similar device which requires a key, electronic opener or integral combination. Gates must swing away from the pool or spa.
C CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). You are your child’s first responder. Knowing how to react to a drowning can make the difference between life and death. There are many locations in Tucson and surrounding communities where you can take a CPR class, including the American Red Cross, Heart Start, the local Fire Departments, plus many others. A search on the internet will provide several choices and locations.
Water Safety Tips
- Teach your child how to swim.
- Designate an adult to supervise children around water, especially at social gatherings.
- Children are not “water safe.” Swimming skills and flotation devices are not a substitute for supervision.
- Don’t dive or jump into the water. Always wade in first to avoid hitting your head on a shallow bottom.
- Don’t push or jump on others.
- Always completely remove the cover before using the pool or spa. Children can become trapped under these types of covers.
- Use only U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation devices.
- Remove toys and other play things away from the pool area. This will prevent young children from wanting to enter the pool area.
- A child can drown in as little as two inches of water. Always empty water in buckets, ice chests and bath tubs.
- Have a phone located near the pool area so that 911 can be called immediately in case of a drowning.
Supervision is the Key to Prevent Drownings
- Never leave children unsupervised in the pool or inside the pool area – not even for a second!
- Inform guests to your home of the importance of closely watching children around water. At parties, make sure someone is always watching the children around the pool.
- Don’t count on barriers to keep children from reaching the pool. No barrier is foolproof! Barriers only slow a child’s access to the pool.
In Case of an Emergency: Act Immediately
- Shout for help.
- Pull the child out of the water.
- Take the child to the phone and dial 911 for help.
- Check airway and breathing. If needed, start CPR immediately. CPR can save lives and prevent serious injury.
Other Smart Tips to Protect Children Around Water
- Don’t keep toys, tricycles, bicycles or other playthings in the pool area. Also, remove items that a child could use to climb over the barrier.
- Don’t be distracted by phone calls, doorbells, or chores while children are in the pool. Your full attention must be on the children.
- Don’t rely on swimming lessons or “floaties” to protect your children.
- Don’t prop gates open.
- Attend a CPR class. All family members and baby-sitters should know CPR.
- Post 911 on all phones.
- Learn water rescue. Keep lifesaving equipment mounted near the pool, especially if you can’t swim.
- Lock passageways (such as pet doors) leading to the pool.
- Inspect latches and gates regularly, keep them in working order.
- Set a good example. Insist on safety around the pool.
Children Aren’t Waterproof
- Most drownings and near-drownings happen when a child accidentally falls into a pool or is left alone in the tub.
- Drownings can happen in a matter of seconds. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer the phone.
- Never leave a child alone or with a sibling in the tub – not even to answer the phone or to get a towel. If you must leave, take the child with you.
- Always watch your child by the pool, spa, beach or lake. Beware of backyard pools and spas in the neighborhood. Your child could wander off and accidentally fall in. Install a poolside telephone.
- Enroll children over age 3 in swimming lessons taught by qualified instructors. But keep in mind that lessons don’t make your child “drown-proof.”
- Never leave 5-gallon buckets (even with a small amount of liquid) in an area accessible to children. Infants and toddlers are top-heavy and may be unable to remove themselves if they were to fall in.
- Enroll in a CPR class – the life you save may be your child’s life!
HELPFUL MERGENCY NUMBERS IN TUCSON/ORO VALLEY/VAIL
Medical Emergencies - Call 911
Fire - Call 911
Police - Call 911
Poison Hotline - 626-6016
Southwest Gas Emergencies Only - 746-1076
Tucson Electric Power
- To report a power outtage - 623-3451
- To report a downed power line - Call 911
Water Department Emergencies
City of Tucson Water - 791-4133
Oro Valley Water - 229-5000
Vail Water - 647-3679
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