As the temperature rises outside and the kids are out of school, many American families want to stay cool outside and go to the pool. Pool and water safety should be a top priority whether you are on vacation, at home, at a community pool or even at an amusement park. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), about 10 people die daily of unintentional drowning that is not related to boats, and about 1 out of every 5 people who die of drowning are children under the age of 14. These four safety tips keep you and your family safe around the pool this summer.
While many public pools and amusement park pools have lifeguards, hotel and home pools often lack sufficient supervision. It is up to the parent or the guardian to always be on alert when children are in or around the pools. Drowning can occur quickly and quietly and supervising adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity. The same is true for adults and those with superior swimming capabilities. While you may not think you need supervision, it is always a great idea to have someone there with you. This concept is known as the buddy system.
While pool noodles and other floating devices can be fun in the water, they should not be used in place of supervision or a real life jacket. These items are toys and are designed to be treated as such. They are not designed to keep swimmers safe. For inexperienced swimmers, a properly fitting life jacket should be worn. The Red Cross has an article called Life Jackets Aren’t Just for Boats that will help you choose the right fit and type of lifejacket that is best.
According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death to children under the age of 14. Having basic knowledge of how to swim can save a child’s life. Even for adults, it is critical that they know how to swim when it comes to supervising children. Along with being a life-saving skill, knowing how to swim it is a great full body exercise.
Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children while they are in or around water. According to a study by Injuryprevention.com, researchers found that alcohol contributes to an estimated 10 to 30% of all recreational drowning deaths. One of the biggest reasons why alcohol is strongly discouraged is that it can impair your senses, alter your sense of distance and make you feel confused while in the water.
At the Cuyahoga Board of Health (CCBH), ensuring a safe and healthy environment transcends our daily activities. We want you to be well-informed about safe Recreational Water practices.
In addition to offering the four tips above, we inspect public pools and report on their conditions. All public swimming pool and spa managers must obtain a license from the local health district. These facilities are required to be maintained in accordance with Ohio’s Public Pool and Spa rules and regulations.
Routine inspections provide an opportunity for the inspector and the pool manager to meet, assess the status of the pool, and work together to resolve any issues that may impact the health and safety of pool patrons and/or the employees of the facility. During the inspection of public swimming pools and spas, sanitarians assess a wide variety of items, including water quality, maintenance of filtration and circulation equipment, the presence of necessary safety equipment and warning signs, life guarding requirements, record-keeping, and overall facility operation. You can view our Pool Inspections reports online.