Protecting Children Against Drowning in Pools

We're still in the midst of a tough winter, but it's not too early to begin thinking about pool safety as warmer weather begins to draw near.

This video about child pool safety says drowning is the second leading cause of death and injury of children in Canada. To keep children safe around pools, the video suggests that parents implement the following five "layers" of protection (courtesy of SafeKids Canada):

1. Parents should remain within sight and reach of young children in a pool. The video warns against relying on hearing your child in trouble since drowning often causes young children's lungs to fill up with water and they drown silently. There is no substitute for keeping children within sight and reach.

2. Parents should learn child CPR if they will frequently be supervising children near pools. Certainly, parents supervising children at pools must know how to swim.

3. Pools should be fully surrounded by a fence or gate. Pools that rely on a 3-sided fence with the house serving as the fourth side, pose a risk to children emerging from the house. Access to the pool area should be exclusively via a self-locking entrance.

4. Children who can't swim should use life jackets in the pool – not flotation devices that may slip off their arms.

5. Provide swimming lessons to all children. Lessons can begin as early as age 5.