Preparing Your Kids for a Safe Summer at the Pool - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Preparing Your Kids for a Safe Summer at the Pool

There are roughly 14.7 million pools and spa's in America's back yards. With that number increasing 11% over the past two years, the likely hood that the number of deaths will increase is growing as well.

Nearly 500 children under the age of five die each year in swimming pool related accidents. One of the ways these deaths could be prevented is if children were properly taught how to swim.

Bob Williams, Executive Director for the Jonesboro Y.M.C.A. says children need to learn to swim early on.

"That's a skill you need all your life and there is so much open waterway around this part of the state. Kids can get in a bad situation very easy if they don't have those skills," Williams says.

More importantly, it's the parents responsibility to make sure that their children are constantly supervised.

Williams said, "They never need to assume that they are safe you need a responsible adult watching children at all times."

And some people believe their children shouldn't be unsupervised in a pool until they are teenagers.

To prevent the silent killer, as it is formerly known, there are certain things that parents can do to decrease their child's risk of an accidental drowning. It is called the "Layer Method" which was coined by the Pool Safety Network.

1) Surround your pool a with fence that has a self locking gate. Make sure it has a self-latching lock.

2) Go to your local hardware store and purchase alarms for every access point to the pool. Make sure you can hear the alarm from inside the house.

3) Install a motor driven cover. This will prevent a child's temptation

4) Remove all enticing objects from the pool area. For instance, a swing or their toys.

5) Drain all water off of the pool cover as children can drown in as little as two inches of water.

The easiest and cheapest preventative method is to make sure that your children know exactly how to swim. The YMCE offers a two week course according to their skill level. The next session begins on June 13th.

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