With summer comes outdoor fun in Maryland—biking, boating, hiking, and pools. Water sports and activities are a terrific way for families to enjoy time together. But when it comes to pools, planning is key to preventing injury or worse.
The Center for Injury Research and Policy estimates a child drowns every five days in a portable pool during the summer months in the United States. These are preventable and tragic accidents. Children are attracted to water but have little ability to understand consequences or gauge their skills.
Whether operating a public pool, a full-size backyard pool, or a wading or other portable pool, you owe a legal duty of care to children and others who use or encounter your pool.
Consider these tips for avoiding accidents in backyard pools:
- Humans drown in as little as two inches of water. Attentive supervision of wading pools is required. Gardening or dozing in the sun is not attentive supervision. Ignore a phone call in the house. Better yet, bring your cell phone poolside.
- Treat a large portable pool as any other pool. Remove access ladders when not in use, use a secure pool cover and make sure it works, and install barriers or fencing around your pool. Remember to empty and store wading pools when not in use.
- When a child is missing, check the pool first. Seconds make a difference.
- Get first aid training.
Playing in the water is fun—and potentially dangerous. Help children survive their summer by taking proper precautions around pools.