The best relief for many Arkansans from the sweltering summer heat is a dip in the swimming pool or a trip to one of the Natural State’s lakes and rivers.
Though swimming can be a relaxing and refreshing way to pass the time this summer, there are always safety risks, especially for children.
About 10 people die every day in the United States from non-boating related drowning, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Small children have the highest drowning rates in the nation, with most of those drownings occurring in home swimming pools. For children ages 1 to 14, drowning is the second-leading cause of death due to unintentional injury, behind car crashes.
Studies show that drowning risk in children decreases when children take part in formal swimming lessons. Municipalities and community organizations commonly offer swimming lessons to both children and adults.
The Arkansas Department of Health regulates all commercial pools and spas in the state. Among the department’s regulations is one which requires that all public pools must be enclosed by a fence or barrier that is at least 4 feet high. For more information about state requirements, visit www.healthy.arkansas.gov.
To ensure safe swimming:
* Make sure children know how to swim
* Keep children stay away from pool drains and pipes to avoid entrapments
* Always have a responsible adult present when a child is swimming
* Drowning occurs quickly and quietly, so supervising adults should not be involved in any distracting activities while at the pool with children
* Always have a telephone nearby when swimming in case of an emergency
* Learn CPR in order to be able to assist in the event of a pool emergency