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Friday, 14 August 2009 12:03

Pool Safety Information - From the Desk of Sheriff Jim Coats

Written by  Sheriff Jim Coats
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Pinellas County Sheriff Jim CoatsSummer is upon us, temperatures are soaring and what better way to keep children entertained and cool than an afternoon by the swimming pool. A dark side of a summer in the sun is that a sparkling swimming pool can also be a serious summer hazard. Unfortunately, when the temperature goes up, so does the number of accidental drownings involving children. The backyard pool is a magnet for children of all ages.

A moment of adult inattention can have tragic results. Parents, grandparents, babysitters and neighbors with pools need to realize that a swimming pool is an attraction to children. Of all law enforcement calls for service, a call to a home where a child has drowned is perhaps the most heartbreaking.

The loss of a child’s life to drowning can be prevented with extra caution, common sense and inexpensive equipment. In fact, many residential communities and municipalities require a barrier of some kind around in-ground and above ground pools.

Where there are no pool enclosures required, homeowners have many other options to keep children and pools safe. In the home, child-proof locks on pool access doors are a must. An alarm system around the pool or pool access is another option. Remove toys from the
pool so there is no temptation for a child to retrieve them.

Swim times should be managed and monitored by adults at all times. Teaching a child to swim for sport, safety and survival is also a must. Everyone living in Florida, and especially those persons caring for children, should learn how to swim. Even then, a child can go under in a flash. Then, recovery and resuscitation training for adults is also important. Becoming CPR certified can prevent a serious poolside incident from becoming fatal. Swimming lessons and CPR training are offered by many groups in Pinellas County. Protect yourself, your loved ones and even your friends and neighbors by taking the time to prepare and plan in order to enjoy a safe summer pool season. Learn more about swimming pool safety, take swimming lessons and CPR from the following providers:

American Red Cross
Tampa Bay Chapter
www.redcross.org
813-348-4820 or 877-741-1444

Tampa Bay Cares
www.211tampabay.org
Or call 211

Pool Safety Council
www.poolsafetycouncil.org

YMCA
www.ymca.net

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