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Exercise caution around the pool during the Fourth and throughout the summer

It may seem hard to believe, but the Fourth of July holiday is nearly here, meaning people across the state will soon be heading to parades, fireworks celebrations and, of course, backyard barbeques.

While the highlight of these gatherings for adults is almost always the food and beverages, this is certainly not the case for children. For them, the best parts are the impromptu games, the visits with friends and, of course, the pools.

While this fascination with swimming pools is perhaps not surprising, it's also something of which parents and homeowners need to be aware. In case they need any reminding, they needn't look any further than a recently released report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

According to the CPSC report while fatal child drownings declined by 17 percent from 2010 to 2014 (the range for which the most complete data is available), there were still an astounding 346 fatal drownings in pools and spas in 2014, 252 of which were children under the age of five.

Using a more recent data set, the CPSC also determined that an estimated 5,900 children younger than 15 were treated for non-fatal drowning injuries in pools and spas between 2014 and 2016, and that 74 percent of these children were under the age of five.

In light of sobering statistics like these, questions naturally arise as to what can be done to help keep children safe. Some simple suggestions offered by the CPSC include:

  • Parents and children alike must learn how to swim
  • Adults must learn how to perform CPR on adults and children 
  • A "Water Watcher" must be appointed to supervise children in the water at all times, meaning no smartphones, books or other distractions
  • Four-sided fencing complete with self-closing and self-latching gates must be installed along with pool alarms
  • Efforts must be made to keep children away from pipe openings, drains and other openings
  • Drain covers must be complaint with federal safety standards

Here's hoping everyone enjoys a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday and summer season …

If you've been seriously injured or lost a loved one due to the negligence of a homeowner, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional to learn more about seeking justice for the unimaginable harm you've endured.         

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