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According to media sources, a report has been published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that 390 drownings in swimming pools and spas per year for children under the age of 15. Georgia gets quite hot during the spring and summer months, and children will be looking for a way to cool off, so it is important to ensure their safety.

During summer activities and celebrations, it is easy for children to get away from parents and end up a victim of a swimming pool accident. Furthermore, another 5,200 children under the age of 15 end up in emergency rooms with near-drowning injuries. Many of these children – the number unknown – suffer serious brain damage.

A parent can avoid a swimming pool accident by keeping safety measures in mind for his or her own pool and ensuring that safety measures are implemented when visiting friends or relatives with pools.

· The pool should have a fence around it, and the fence should have a self-closing, self-latching gate. The fence should be at least 4 feet high. If children frequently visit a neighbor with a pool and the pool does not have a fence, ask the neighbor to fence in the pool.

· Keep the spa covered with a safety cover that locks. Keep the lock locked at any time the spa is not being used.

· If the pool has a fence, but the house is one side of the fence, put an alarm on the door leading out into the yard or install a pool alarm to alert a responsible adult when someone enters the pool.

· Make sure the pool area has plenty of life rings, a long reaching pole and floats that are accessible in an emergency.

· Always keep an eye on children in an area with a pool, even if the pool is fenced. If you have to go inside even for a minute and children are in the pool, have the children get out of the pool unless they are excellent swimmers.

· Teach children water safety tips and, for older children, what to do if they see a younger child in trouble in the water.

· If a child cannot be found immediately, look in the pool or spa first. Time is of the essence if the child found his or her way into the pool and cannot swim.

Source: “Useful Reminders for Swimming Pool Safety,” July 8, 2012