Pool Safety: April 24, 2012

Kim Rolf is raising a water bug. Her daughter Allie took her first swimming lessons when she was only six months old.

“Last summer we did survival swimming at our home. We had a private instructor come in and do the basics and teach them to float over, flip over and float and get to the side.”

A good start, but even Kim knows it’s a drop in the bucket when it comes to drowning prevention. Dr. Alex Daneshmand is a critical care pediatrician with The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

“The one thing that will keep the kids safe around the pool is a parental supervision. Watching your kids while they’re swimming to make sure that they are out of danger and they are not falling down hitting their head or having any types of accident while they’re in the pool.”

They are beautiful to look at, but no one expects a death trap in their backyard. With more than a million residential pools in the state, drowning is the number one cause of death for children under five.

“My nephew fell in a few years ago. Somebody left the pool gate open at my in-laws’ house and he fell in, but everybody got him right away. It was scary even though the pool fence was there, it wasn’t closed properly,” says Rolf.

“Having a phone by the pool, learning CPR, teaching your kids to swim, having barriers such as pool alarms and pool safety gates, those all make a huge difference,” says Dr. Daneshmand.

It could be the difference between life and death and why parents should approach pool safety with their eyes wide open.

“It’s better to be safe than sorry,” says Rolf.