The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s annual submersion and entrapment report came with positive progress this year: the number of reported fatal child drownings in swimming pools involving children younger than 5—the most vulnerable population—has decreased 17 percent nationwide since 2010, the year the Pool Safely campaign was started. The latest data also shows that in 2014, there were 346 reported fatal child drownings in pools and spas involving children younger than 15, compared to 397 reported fatal drownings in 2010—a 13 percent decrease.These decreases are a result of the tireless work the entire water safety community is doing to stem the tide of fatal drownings.
This is encouraging news, but there is still more work to do. The majority of those nearly 350 fatal incidents (77 percent) involved children under the age of 5; drowning remains the #1 unintentional cause of death for children in the United States ages 1-4. For children younger than 15 years old, more than two-thirds (68 percent) of the reported fatal drowning victims were boys. In addition, an estimated average of 5,900 children younger than 15 were taken to the emergency room with injuries from a nonfatal drowning incident. Residential locations dominated incident reports.
Pool Safely released this data as a warning to parents ahead of Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial start of summer and swim season.
While there has been a 5-10 percent improvement in overall swimming ability from previous data, great disparities still exist with 64 percent of African-American children and 45 percent of Hispanic children have little or no swimming ability.
A concerning data point is that 87 percent of swimmers with no or low ability plan to go to a swimming facility this summer at least once.
Other key findings found that 79 percent of children in families with household income less than $50,000 have no/low swimming ability and that if parents have no/low swimming ability, there’s a high likelihood their children won’t have good swimming skills.
In light of this information, we recommend parents and families review Pool Safely’s safety tips before going in or around the water to ensure a safer and happy summer!
Six Things to Consider Before Having a Swimming Pool Built At Home
Before you make a huge investment and build a swimming pool at your home, there a few important things to consider. Below are six essential considerations to take before arriving at the best decision for you and your family.
Because there are an array of backyard swimming pools, the cost is going to vary. Since a pool always costs a considerable amount of money, its necessary to set a budget first. Although it’s completely fine to have grand dreams for how you want your pool to look, it’s important to be realistic when it comes to spendings and which type of pool you and your family need.
The size of the swimming pool depends on not only the availability of space in your backyard, but also on your budget and zoning requirements. You should consult your contractor and learn how to comply with zoning.
Yes, location matters when building your backyard swimming pool. It’s important to check if your yard is suited for swimming pools and if zoning restrictions are applicable to the area. These two things are necessary before you move on to the construction phase.
Depending on where you and your family lives, your swimming pool will only be in use for three to four months in a year. Isn’t that annoying given you’ve spent a chuck on money to have it built? With that said, we have a solution for you: you can have a custom swimming pool enclosure built so that you can swim all-year. It will also keep your children and pets safe when your eyes are focused elsewhere.
Along with having a swimming pool itself, you might want to consider adding a diving board or slide. Swimming pool amenities definitely make swimming more satisfying, however that doesn’t mean you need them. We know that you have a budget and want to stick to it, though if the budget allows it, let nothing stop you from adding extra features to your pool.
Once you’ve got everything planned out, you’re going to need a loyal and trustworthy contractor who’ll make your dreams come to life. When deciding on a contractor, it’s important to do careful research and get referrals from your close friends and neighbors who have swimming pools of their own. When you have a list of names of contractors, that’s when you need to check out their background. It’d be great if you can speak to their previous customers so that you can make an accurate decision.
Adding a swimming pool to your property is a difficult decision to make. However it can be easy when you take everything into consideration. Try talking to your family before making a decision. If it’s a yes, you can look forward to an exciting and rewarding time.
How to Stay Safe This Summer Around Your Backyard Swimming Pool
Forget the beaches! Time to hit the water and soak up the warm weather in your home swimming pools and hot tubs. Although pool house BBQs and relaxing swims are enjoyable, over hundreds of children drown in backyard swimming pools annually. Affinity Pools advises parents and pool owners to take precaution by following these tips:
Young children must be supervised at all times. Staying in arms reach of minors can prevent accidents and ensure safety. Never allow children to swim alone in pools. If needed, have a young swimmer wear a life jacket.
When not using the swimming pool or hot tub, place a safety cover over them to prevent children from falling in. Also, secure your pool with appropriate barriers or fencing with a self-latching and self-closing gate.
It’s highly recommended that you enroll your children in age-appropriate swimming lessons and water orientations through your local classes.
Keep your swimming pool clean and bacteria-free by maintaining chemical levels, filters, and circulation. Test and fix the chemical levels regularly to prevent the risk of rashes or harmful diseases.
Establish swimming rules with your children including “no diving,” “no running around the pool,” “no swimming alone,” “no splashing,” and “stay away from drain covers.”
Tell your children to always “swim with a buddy” and to not allow anyone to swim alone.
Have appropriate equipment ready by the swimming pool, such as a cell phone, life jacket, first aid kit, and reaching/throwing equipment.
Teach your household aquatic emergency steps and procedures including first aid and CPR. You can sign up for local classes in your hometown.
Know how and when to dial 9-1-1 or the local emergency number for an aquatic emergency.
Keeping your pool in top-notch shape is something that every pool owner strives for. Having a regularly scheduled pool maintenance routine can help keep your pool clean and enjoyable for everyone. Below we have highlighted 4 Easy Swimming Pool Maintenance Tips that you can do on your own to ensure your pools health and longevity:
1. Winterize Your Swimming Pool
If you reside in a location that experiences colder months and inclement weather, you’ll need to take the appropriate measures to ensure your pool is properly winterized. Pool water from the warmer months that is left in your pools pipes can freeze and cause serious permanent damage. In order to prevent this from happening, we suggest that you use an air compressor to clear out the residual pool water left in the plumbing system. In addition to using an air compressor, it is highly recommended to completely drain water from your pools filter and heater before the cold weather hits. Once these preventative steps have been taken, you should then skim, vacuum, brush the pool walls, empty baskets, close the line valve, lower the pools water levels to 18 inches and cover your pool completely to keep out any debris. This will protect your pool from any harsh winter weather you may experience.
2. Clean Your Filter
Your pool filter helps remove impurities such as dirt, leaves and other debris to help keep your water clean and clear. We recommend you clean out your pool’s filter basket once every a week and clean out your filters pipes at least once a month. An indication that it’s time to clean your filter system is the increase in flow between the pressure gauge and flow meter. When the filter reaches a difference of 10 to 15 pounds per square inch, you know that it’s time for a cleaning.
3. Maintain And Check Water Levels
As time goes on the water level of your pool will fluctuate and it is important to avoid an overflowing pool at all cost. We suggest you keep your water level just above the skimmer and if it is below the skimmer use a garden hose to fill it back up to the appropriate level. Also, if you notice your pool level getting too high, rent a water pump to remove the excess water. Trust us, maintaining your pools water levels will bring peace of mind and keep your pool looking at it’s best.
4. Shock Swimming Pool
Contaminants such as nitrogen and ammonia can build up in a pool over time, so it’s necessary to shock (superchlorinate) your pool water to bring it back down to normal chlorine levels. When you shock your pools water, you raise chlorine levels to kill off any and all bacteria present in the pool. We recommend shocking your pool at least once a week and especially after pool parties or a rain storm.
For more swimming pool maintenance tips, explore our website and check back for more blog updates in the future.