Unfortunately, the last few weeks have brought news of the devastating loss of children’s lives due to drowning. A swimming pool can be an enjoyable amenity in one’s home, it can also result in tragedy when practical rules and measures are not set up to avoid catastrophe.
Children should never be allowed near a swimming pool — even if it is a shallow swimming pool or a wading pool — unless proper adult supervision is present. In the case of large swimming pools, adult supervision by itself is not sufficient, since if an adult does not know how to swim, he or she will not only be unable to assist any swimmer in trouble in the pool but could very well be in danger as well. All supervision at a swimming pool should be by adults who know how to swim.
The following are some pool safety tips that have been posted by Town of Hempstead which I hope will be helpful in assisting people in practicing pool safety so that they can enjoy their swimming pool with their friends and family securely.
- Never leave a child alone or out of your eyesight in or near the pool, spa, or hot tub.
- If a child is missing, always look in the pool first. Seconds count!
- Steps and ladders to an above-ground pool should be secured and locked or removed from the pool when not in use.
- Do not place objects (e.g., chairs or tables) near the pool, spa, hot tub, fence, or barrier that could allow a youngster to climb over.
- Keep toys away from the pool, spa, or hot tub. Remove all toys from the pool after use so children are not tempted to reach for them later.
- If you use a pool, spa, or hot tub cover, always completely remove the cover before using your pool, spa, or hot tub to avoid the possibility of anyone being trapped under the cover.
- Never use a pool or spa with a missing or broken drain cover. Be sure a newer, safer drain cover is in place. The new drain covers are usually dome-shaped instead of the old flat drain covers.
- Keep rescue equipment by the pool. Keep phone and emergency number near the pool.
- Pools are required to have physical barriers to restrict access. A five-foot (minimum) non-climbable fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate (equipped with lock) must be installed around pools.
- If your house forms one side of the barrier for the pool, doors leading from the house to the pool must be protected with alarms that produce an audible sound when a door is opened.
- After children are done swimming, secure the pool so that they cannot get back in.
- A rope and float line should be placed across the pool alerting swimmers to the separation of the deep end from the shallow end of the pool.
For questions, call the Town of Hempstead Building Dept. at 516-538-8500.
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com. Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to anessa@AVCrealty.com.