Are you ready to be the pool police? If you’ve got a pool–even just a wading pool–and a baby or a toddler, add that to your list of duties. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s latest Pool Safely Campaign, which is aimed at preventing drownings and entrapments, 300 children younger than age 5 drown every year. Another 5,100 kids younger than 5 suffer submersion injuries, such as brain damage. And get this: 60% of injuries occur in June and July.“Young kids can drown in an inch of water or less,” says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director at Underwriters Laboratories, in Northbrook, Illinois. Dregenberg, so don’t think the water in your child’s baby pool is harmless. To play it safe: “Dump the wading pool when you’re done with it,” Dregenberg says. “And turn it upside down so it doesn’t catch rain water.” In fact, empty all outdoor containers of water after use, including five-gallon buckets and insulated coolers; they’re a formidable drowning hazard.
The CPSC offers more drowning prevention tips at http://www.poolsafely.gov/parents-families/simple-steps-save-lives/. A big one is to never leave your baby or toddler unattended near water and to designate a “water watcher.” If you’re at a pool party, for example, and you want to get a bite to eat, say to your husband, “Okay, you’re on duty.” Don’t assume your hubbie knows he’s in charge of watching the kid in the water. Too many times, especially at parties, which can be distracting, mom assumes dad is watching and vice versa. Meanwhile, they’re both chatting with other party goers. It happens. (Been there!)
Be the designated water watcher or appoint someone to be if you have to step away. According to the CPSC, “designating a water watcher can save a life.”