Listening to a suggestion by resident Jacob Magiera, the Roselle Park School District (RPSD) sent out a mass e-mail on the first day of summer reminding parents and residents about pool safety.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around one in five people who die from drowning are children 14-years-old and under. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries. Drowning is listed as the number one cause of unintentional death for children between the ages of 1 and 4. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) states that 390 deaths a year on average are attributed to drowning in a swimming pool or spa. The CPSC also provides the following statistics:
- 76% of drowning deaths in the United States each year involved children younger than 5-years-old.
- 67% of swimming pool drowning deaths involved children younger than three years old.
- 75% of drowning deaths of children younger than 15 occurred at a swimming pool located at a home pool or neighbor’s pool.
- 17% of swimming pool-related drowning deaths among children younger than 15 happened in an above-ground pool.
- 9% of those pediatric drowning deaths occurred in portable pools.
The e-mail from the RPSD stated that over 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year.
It also provided the following pool safety guidelines suggested by The American Red Cross:
- Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround your pool with a 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.
- Keep children under active supervision at all times. Stay in arm’s reach of young kids. Designate a responsible person to watch the water when people are in the pool-never allow anyone to swim alone. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- Ensure everyone in the home knows how to swim well by enrolling them in age-appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses from the Red Cross
- 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.
- Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors, such as “no diving,” “stay away from drain covers,” “swim with a buddy” and “walk please.”
- Ensure everyone in the home knows how to respond to aquatic emergencies by having appropriate safety equipment and taking water safety, first aid and CPR courses from the Red Cross.
In Roselle Park, two-year-old Ryan Koranteng-Barnes drowned in a neighbor’s pool during a block party on Elm Street on June 25, 2011.