Stay safe at poolside this summer with simple tips

Published 10:37 am Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Question: We’re thinking about adding a pool but is it safe?

Answer: You are right to be concerned. In the years 2005-2014, an average of 3,500 fatal drownings occurred per year in the US. That’s about ten deaths per day. Among children ages 1 to 4, most drownings occur in home swimming pools. About one in five people who die from drownings are children 14 and younger.
Here’s some safety tips to help you enjoy your pool and keep your family safe at the same time:
1. Never leave a child unattended in or near water — designate a family water watcher who should not be reading, playing games on their phone or texting.
2. Learn how to swim — swimming lessons help prevent drownings.
3. Buddy System — always swim with a buddy in case there’s a mishap.
4. Barriers save lives — A fence of at least four feet in height should surround the pool or spa on all sides and should not be climbable for children. The water should only be accessible through a self-closing, self-latching gate. Teach children to never try to climb over the gate or fence. Install a door alarm from the house to the pool area, and keep pool and spa covers in working order.
5. Walk don’t run — running increases chances of slips and falls on wet surfaces, resulting in serious injury.
6. Check drain covers regularly – hair, limbs, jewelry or bathing suits can get stuck in a drain or suction opening.
7. Learn CPR — Often, bystanders are the first to aid a drowning victim, so learning CPR can help save a life.
Make sure your family is safe this year. Go to the website: for more information and to take the Safety Pledge.
Vickie Clark is the Director of the Carter County UT Extension Office and also serves as the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent. If you have questions or need any information related to Family and Consumer Science contact her at the UT Extension Carter County, 824 East Elk Ave., Elizabethton, call 542-1818 or email at

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