More than 60 percent of all pool-related deaths and injuries occur in privately owned pools and each year close to 400 children drown in pools and spas. It's important to think about how to keep everyone safe while swimming this summer.
Stephanie daughter, Vienna, is 18 months old. This is her second summer in the pool.
"She's pretty eager to get on the slide and take spin down the slide. I think she just likes to splash and sit on the steps and pour water on her steps with the bucket," said Stephanie.
Stephanie says she doesn't let Vienna out of her sight when they're around the pool.
"Most of the time I just prefer to just hang on to her myself and carry her and have her be safe in my arms, but we have a couple of rafts for her and one of the sunshades that has a floatation device on it too," said Stephanie.
Lieutenant Kevin Yost is with Winchester Fire and Rescue. Yost says, children between one and two, are the ones injured or have near drowning accidents. He says the majority of these accidents happen when a child is alone.
"Last year in 2011, between Memorial Day weekend and July 1st there were 48 drownings in the United States and 75 near drownings," said Yost.
Yost says, so far this year, they haven't had to respond to any pool related accidents in our area.
"Make sure that your pools meet all local and state guidelines that require fencing, locked gates. Even private pools will have requirements for those fencing and gates. Even though there's not a requirement to have a life guard on duty," said Yost.
The bottom line...supervision is key.
"Many deaths and severe injuries occur silently and quickly no body hears the child or the person slip under the water," said Yost.
"Everyone is always out here. She's never by herself," said Stephanie.
Some other tips:
-Fence pools with a four foot or taller fence with self-closing and self-latching gates
-Install pool and gate alarms
-Keep flotation devices on hand
-Have a "water watcher"
For more pool safety information, visit www.poolsafely.gov
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