How to keep swimmers safe in your pool

Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 5:58 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Pools are a great way to cool off but that doesn’t mean they’re risk-free.

“The fire department, we pick up the pieces. We respond when the emergency has already happened. That’s why it’s a concern for us because we see it regularly,” said Rich Little of the Watertown Fire Department.

He says drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4 and for the most part is avoidable.

Little recommends kids in the pool should be dressed in bright colors that stand out. It’s crucial that eyes are on them at all times. That goes for any body of water.

“A lot of people think it’s not going to happen to them just because they’re there. They think it’s not going to happen to them, so did everybody else with a drowning child or drowning loved one,” he said.

Code Enforcement Supervisor Dana Aikins says rules exist to help keep your pool safe.

“Code enforcement is just trying to prevent the issue. This is mostly to prevent all individuals but mostly young children from accessing that pool when it’s not supervised,” said Aikins.

Aikins says to make sure your pool’s cover is completely removed before swimming. That helps with visibility.

The law requires you to remove the outside ladder of above-ground pools when not in use to prevent unwanted swimmers.

Inground pools must be fenced in.

“Maybe after a fun night out on the town you might run into some trouble if the pool is accessible right from the street or the sidewalk,” said Aikins.

Effective CPR is one of the number one ways to increase the survival chance of a near-drowning victim. That’s why the Watertown Fire Department offers regular classes.

The department aims to offer two CPR classes a month, but that number can vary depending on scheduling.