Joliet reminds residents of water safety this summer
6/15/2016, 10:07 a.m.
An adult should actively watch children at all times while they are in a pool. For infants and toddlers, an adult should be in the water and within arm's reach, providing "touch supervision." For older children, an adult should be paying constant attention and be free from distractions, such as talking on the phone, socializing, tending to household chores, or drinking alcohol. The supervising adult must know how to swim. Adults should not drop children off at a pool or leave them at a beach without designating a responsible adult to supervise them. If you have a pool, insist that the following rules are followed:
• Keep toys away from the pool when the pool is not in use.
• Empty blow-up pools after each use.
• No tricycles or other riding toys should be allowed at poolside.
• No electrical appliances should be allowed near the pool.
• No diving should be permitted in a pool that is not deep enough.
• No running should be allowed on the pool deck.
Children can climb out a window, though a doggy door, or sneak out a door to get to the back yard and a pool or hot tub. To prevent small children from entering a pool area on their own, there should be a fence that completely surrounds the pool or spa. Combined with the watchful eyes of an adult, a fence is the best way to protect your child and other children who may visit or live nearby. Also, consider additional barriers such as safety covers and pool alarms.
Pool fences should also:
• Be climb-resistant and should not have anything alongside it (such as lawn furniture) that can be used to climb it.
• Be at least four feet high and have no footholds or handholds that could help a child climb it.
• Have no more than four inches between vertical slats. Chain-link fences are very easy to climb and are not recommended as pool fences. If they must be used, the diamond shape should not be bigger than one and three-fourths inches.
• Have a gate that is well maintained and is self-closing and self-latching. It should only open away from the pool. The latches should be higher than a child can reach (54 inches from the bottom of the gate).
• For above-ground pools, always keep children away from steps or ladders. When the pool is not in use, lock or remove the ladders to prevent access by children and secure a safety cover.
Serious spinal cord injuries, permanent brain damage, and death can occur to swimmers who dive into shallow water or spring upward on the diving board and hit it on the way down.
Keep safe by following these simple common-sense diving rules:
• Check how deep the water is. Enter the water feet first, especially when going in for the first time. • Never dive into above-ground pools; they are usually not deep enough.
• Never dive into the shallow end of a pool.