With the approach of Memorial Day Weekend and warmer temperatures in general, many apartment complexes, recreational facilities and other public and private pool locations will be opening for the summer season. Unfortunately, every year children and some adults suffer catastrophic injuries or are killed in pool accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 people who die of drowning are children age 14 and younger. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the country.

To keep yourself, your family and others safe around pools, the American Red Cross recommends the following water safety tips:

  • Never leave children unattended near a pool, not even for a moment.
  • Ask if pool drain covers have been checked for expiration dates, breakage or other problems.
  • Enroll your children in swimming lessons, which cannot guarantee prevention of drowning but may help your child in the event of an accident.

If you have a pool at home, install barriers and/or fencing at least 4 feet high around your pool. Install a self-closing, self-latching door that swings outward. The Red Cross also recommends removing any furniture or other objects nearby that a child could use to climb over the barrier. The organization suggests keeping children within arm's reach anytime your children are around a pool.