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If you are a homeowner with a pool, you should be aware of the dangers of drowning. Although a pool provides fun entertainment in the hot summer months, the risk of drowning or near drowning needs to be taken seriously. Over 3,500 people die per year due to unintentional drowning. Of those, one fifth are children under the age of 14. Countless other children must be treated at the hospital for near-drowning and many of those end up with long term repercussions, such as brain damage.   

Children under the age of 4 are at the highest risk of drowning and most of those that drown in this age range do so in a home swimming pool. Three major causes of drowning are lack of swimming ability, lack of supervision and lack of barriers.  

Lack of Swimming Ability

Providing your family members access to formal swimming lessons significantly reduces the risk of drowning, even for children between the ages of 1 and 4 years old. Swimming lessons provide water awareness and basic skills, allowing a small child to know how to get back up to the top if they fall under water.  

Lack of Supervision

Drowning occurs quickly and is typically not a noisy, splashing event like depicted in the movies. Drowning can be a very quiet process with someone slipping under water. Make sure a responsible adult is designated to supervise all young children while in the vicinity of water. Preschool children should be within reach at all times. Keep in mind that blow up toys and foam noodles are not safety devices and should not be used without supervision. You cannot assume your child is safe because they are swimming with a pool noodle.  

Lack of Barriers

If you have children and a pool you should make sure you have a four-sided fence that separates the pool from the house and the yard. This will reduce the risk of a child drowning. Be certain your fencing follows the local code. In most cases, a fence needs to be a minimum of four feet high. Self-closing and self-latching gates with latches that are too high for a child to reach are ideal. Options such as automatic door locks and alarms that signal someone is in the vicinity of the pool provide added protection.  

If you own a pool, make sure your homeowner's insurance policy has adequate coverage. Also consider learning CPR, so if an unfortunate event does occur, you are able to help the victim while you await emergency services. Taking the steps above will reduce the likelihood that a drowning or near drowning will occur in your backyard pool. It will also allow you to enjoy swimming this summer with peace of mind that you have taken the proper safety precautions. Enjoy a summer of fun swimming!

Get the protection you need. Call Pan American Insurance at (915) 562-0009 for more information on El Paso home insurance.

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