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Pool safety a year-round issue, Red Cross warns

Pool safety a year-round issue, Red Cross warns

August 18th, 2018 by Ashley Gardner in Texarkana News

Water safety and making sure backyard pools are safe is a year-round responsibility. More than 200 children die in backyard pool each year, according to the American Red Cross, but there are steps homeowners can take to prevent such tragedies.

"The number one thing is obviously supervision, active supervision," said Jeremy Post, aquatic accounts representative for the American Red Cross in northern Texas.

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"A lot of people think just being in the general area is appropriate supervision but it really needs to be within arms reach if someone is in a pool and not a strong swimmer.

"If they are in a pool and they are a stronger swimmer active supervision means not looking at your phone, not running into the house for anything even for a minute."

"Drowning just happens super fast and a lot of people don't realize the few seconds it takes to look at phone, send a text, check your Facebook or one of the many things that distracts us these days is sufficient time for someone to go under," Post said.

"A lot of young kids 2 and under don't even have the strength to get back up right if they go under. Constant close attention is super important. Fencing with barriers with a self-latching gate is also great preventative measure."

Drownings can happen when many people are gathered around the pool and everyone thinks someone else is watching. Choosing a specified person to watch the pool closely can prevent drownings.

"Always designate a water watcher. It's a common misconception that out of three or four people someone is watching the pool and that's not always the case. Having a designated watcher means they focus on the pool," Post said.

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