WEST NEWBURY — With summer officially here, the West Newbury Public Health Department reminds residents to practice pool safety and adhere to state regulations regarding swimming pools.
“Spending time at the pool with friends and family is a great summer activity, but it’s important to remember to practice safety,” said West Newbury Public Health Agent Paul Sevigny. “Whether you own a pool, use a friend’s pool or public pool, make sure you are following all safety regulations to avoid accident and injury.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4.
West Newbury Public Health recommends that residents follow these safety tips from the American Red Cross:
• Per Massachusetts regulation, have at least a 4-foot-high barrier that encloses the pool and an access gate that self-closes, locks, and opens outward from the swimming area (even if you don’t have children).
• Fasten a safety cover over the pool when it is not in use, and remove ladders to further prevent access into the pool. Pool alarms are required whenever a house door leads directly to a pool deck.
• Never leave children unattended while they are near or in a pool, and make sure they have an adult to accompany them into the water. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm floats.
• Make sure children stay away from pool drains, pipes, or any other openings to avoid getting trapped or hurt.
• Set safety instructions and share them with family, friends, neighbors, or anyone else who is near or uses the pool. Advise children to stay away from pool deep ends, and to always walk, never run near the pool.
• Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.
• Never use the pool if the chemical levels are not correct, or if the water is cloudy and you can’t see the bottom.
• Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency situation occurs. Update skills regularly.
• Watch the local weather reports. Do not swim if thunderstorms are in the forecast.
• Those who are 21 and older should drink responsibly if they choose to consume alcoholic beverages when relaxing by the pool. Overindulging increases the risk for injuries or accidental drowning.
• Avoid using glass containers by the pool. They could break and leave glass around the pool or in the water.