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Parents Must Be Vigilant About Pool Safety

SUNDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- Young children can drown in as little as 2 inches of water, so parents should be especially vigilant monitoring their kids around backyard swimming pools, experts say.

Doctors from The Trauma Centre of The Montreal Children's Hospital also warned that toddlers and pre-schoolers, in particular, are very curious, impulsive and unable to recognize potential dangers at a pool.

Mandatory fencing around pools is a great step in the right direction, Trauma Director Debbie Friedman said in a hospital news release. She added that pool fencing should be at least 4 feet high, have no gaps between the fence and the ground, and should lock automatically.

"There must be no direct access to the pool from the house, balcony or patio," she added.

The Trauma Centre also offered the following pool safety guidelines for parents:

  • Parents should never be more than an arm's length away from their child.
  • Children under 5, and older kids who don't know how to swim, should wear properly fitted personal floatation devices.
  • All children should take swimming lessons, preferably at an early age.
  • Kiddie pools should be drained of water when not in use.
  • Never leave young children unattended near hot tubs.
  • Parents should consider taking a lifesaving course so they can act quickly if an incident occurs.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides more information on pool safety.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: The Montreal Children's Hospital, news release, July 18, 2011

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