By Todd Shettles
It’s time for some fun in the sun. Summertime is here and swimming pools are again the favorite summertime gathering place. Swimming pools are very popular and a world of fun if it is made to be safe. North Mississippi Medical Center-Eupora would like to offer a few safety tips to keep your family pool the fun spot and not the danger zone.
Never leave your children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment. An adult who knows CPR should actively supervise children at all times.
Practice touch supervision with children younger than 5 years. This means that the adult is within an arm’s length of the child at all times.
You should consider putting up a fence to separate the house from the pool. Most young children who drown in pools wander out of the house and fall into the pool. Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all four sides of the pool. This fence will completely separate the pool from the house and play area of the yard. Use gates that self-close and self-latch, with latches higher than your children’s reach.
Keep rescue equipment (such as a shepherd’s hook or life preserver) and a telephone by the pool.
Do not use air-filled “swimming aids” as a substitute for approved life vest.
Remove all toys from the pool after use so children aren’t tempted to reach for them.
After the children are done swimming, secure the pool so they can’t get back into it.
A power safety cover that meets the standards of the American Society for Testing and materials may add to the protection of your children but should not be used in place of the fence between your house and the pool. Even fencing around your pool and using a power safety cover will not prevent all drowning.
Remember teaching your child how to swim is important but DOES NOT mean your child is safe in the water.
Lightning’s behavior is random and unpredictable. Always have a conservative attitude toward it. Preparedness and quick responses are the best defenses toward the lightning hazard.
Swimming pools are connected to a much larger surface area via underground water pipes, gas lines, electric and telephone wiring. Lightning strikes the ground anywhere on this metallic network may induce shocks elsewhere.
The National Lightning Safety Institute recommends these swimming pool safety procedures:
Designate a responsible person as the weather safety lookout. That person should keep an eye on the weather. Use a “weather radio” or The Weather Channel or other TV programs to obtain good localized advanced weather information.
When thunder and/or lightning are first noticed, use the Flash-to-Bang (F-B) method to determine its’ rough distance and speed. This technique measures the time from seeing lightning to hearing associated thunder. For each five seconds from F-B, lightning is on mile away. Thus. A F -B of 10 = 2 miles; 15 = 3 miles; 20 = 4 miles. At an F-B count of 30, the pool should be evacuated. People should be directed to safe shelter nearby.
Pool activities should remain suspended until 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard. The distance from Strike A to Strike B to Strike C can be some 5-8 miles away. And it can strike much farther away. Why take a chance with lightning?
Teach this slogan: “If you can see it, flee it; if you can hear it, clear it.”
For information on CPR, contact Stephanie McIlwain with the NMMC-Eupora Education Department at 258-6221.
Please follow these tips and have a safe and happy summer in your pool.