SOUTH KINGSTOWN, RI — South Kingstown's Union Fire District is reminding Rhode Islanders to be safe around pools this summer.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has created a whole new set of challenges for pool parties such as the need for social distancing, certain problems are a perennial summer concern.
"Please remember to be alert, cautious and extra attentive to children when swimming this summer,'' Chief Steven Pinch said. "Accidents can occur anywhere, even in the comfort of your own backyard."
Each year, more than 200 children drown in swimming pools, according to the American Red Cross, and accidental drowning is the top cause for death in children ages 1 to 4.
When installing a pool, make sure to consider local zoning requirements, electrical clearances and utility easements. Reach out to your home insurance provider to discuss additional liability coverage.
To keep pools safe and reduce the chance of accidents, the department encourages pool owners to take the following precautions.
Surround the pool with a 4-foot-high barrier that encloses the pool and has a gate that closes itself, locks and opens out from the pool area.
Remove the ladder and cover the pool when not in use.
Always supervise children when in or around the swimming area. Young or new swimmers should wear a life jacket or inflatable flotation device.
Keep children away from pool drains, pipes or filters.
Discuss safety rules with family, friends and other pool users before getting into the water.
Check chemical levels before getting into the water.
Check the weather before swimming, and never swim if thunder is in the forecast.
Take a CPR class, and keep skills updated.
If drinking alcohol near the pool, do so responsibly.