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How can swimming pool accidents be prevented?

A swimming pool can be a great addition to the home. However, pool owners must take the proper safety steps to prevent injuries and even drowning when their pool is being used. This is especially important when kids are involved, as young children face a serious risk of pool-related injuries when the proper safety measures aren't put in place. HealthyChildren.org offers the following safety tips to ensure your kids and others remain safe this summer. 

Drowning is a leading cause of death for kids aged one through four. Many kids in this age group will seek out pools, even when no adults are in attendance. This emphasizes the importance of securing a pool so that it can't be used when the owner is not around. Pool alarms are essential in this case. A pool alarm will provide a loud signal to homeowners in the event that someone is in the immediate area. This is a huge help if neighborhood kids stop by the pool without an invitation, which is actually a more frequent occurrence than one might think. 

Fencing is equally important in this case, as it acts as a physical deterrent to an unattended backyard pool. Obviously, fencing should surround the pool to prevent access from all areas. It must also be tall enough to keep kids out. In this case, a four-foot fence should be sufficient. In terms of fencing materials, look for something that can't easily be climbed, such as wood paneling. The fence should also have a self-latching gate that can be locked. 

Lastly, a pool cover offers an added bit of protection, but some covers are far safer than others. For instance, a floating cover is not considered as safe as a sturdy cover, since a child will be safe in the latter case should she accidentally fall into the pool when the cover is on. It's also crucial that pool owners know how to perform CPR in case a person does fall in and need assistance. 

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