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New report and reminder: Never overlook pool safety

In a recent blog post, we discussed how parents can take measures to keep their families safe at the pool this summer.

However, it seems it is necessary to highlight pool and water safety again since a new report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) demonstrates it is even more critical than ever.

New report: Increase in drownings over the years

On June 3, the CPSC reported that drownings are still the leading cause of death for children under 5, and the risk has only increased in recent years.

Additionally, the report found that:

  • Most accidental drownings occurred at residential pools, making up 71% of fatal drownings;
  • Children also suffer roughly 6,700 nonfatal drownings each year, which can lead to significant and long-lasting injuries; and
  • 56% of drownings for children under 5 were linked to a lack of supervision.

While this report will no doubt cause alarm for many Tennessee parents, it is critical to be consciously aware of this risk.

Important things parents must know

It is a parent's job to worry about their child's safety. But many might wonder what they can do to keep their child safe in the face of the statistics listed above.

There are a few things that you must know. If you have a pool, you should ensure:

  • Your pool is properly fenced in. There should be a fence around your pool. Regulations require that the fence around the pool be at least four feet tall and not climbable.
  • You have a pool alarm. As of 2019, Tennessee law requires residential pools to have a pool alarm installed. This alarm will sound if an individual or item weighing over 15 pounds falls into the pool.
  • Have safety equipment available. You may not be able to predict when an emergency could happen, but you can plan for one. If you have a backyard pool, Mayo Clinic states you should have proper emergency equipment available, such as a lifebuoy, other flotation devices, a shepherd's crook, and a first-aid kit.

And whether you are enjoying your own pool or that of a friend or family member, you should make sure never to leave children unattended in the pool. Even if your children know how to swim, you should designate an adult "water watcher" to supervise children playing in the pool to keep them safe.

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