It’s no secret that in ground pools can be dangerous, especially for young children. The start of the summer season often comes with tragic stories about children drowning in pools. Parents might try to minimize their child’s risk by avoiding in ground pools altogether and buying kiddie or inflatable pools they can set up in their backyard and fill with a hose. Above ground pools are not risk-free, and unfortunately, many children have lost their lives. In the U.S., accidental drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1-14. According to a study published in Pediatrics, from 2001-2009 there were a reported 209 fatal drowning’s caused by portable, above ground pools. The majority of the cases involved children younger than 5 years old. Inflatable pools have pliable sides that sag under the weight of a child. A head-heavy toddler could easily topple in.
Here are a few safety tips that may help prevent an above ground pool accident:
• Always supervise children who are using an inflatable or kiddie pool. It only takes seconds for an accident to happen, an adult should always be present.
• When not in use, always drain the pool out.
• Once you’ve emptied out the pool, flip the pool upside down to ensure it doesn’t collect rainwater. Even a few inches of rainwater could be enough to drown a child.
• Learn CPR. No matter how vigilant you are, there is always the risk of incidents occurring that are beyond your control. Parents or guardians are encouraged to learn pediatric CPR.
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