County offers tips to keep home swimming pools safe
The Allegheny County Health Department urges the following precautions to keep swimming pools safe and help prevent pool-related injuries and infections this summer.
• Never leave children unattended in or around a pool. A fence or barrier at least four feet high should surround a permanent backyard pool, without using the house as a barrier on any side. Gates should be self-closing and self-latching, with the latch out of a young child's reach.
• Never allow anyone, especially children, to swim without a “spotter” who can maintain constant eye contact. Keep a safety buoy at poolside and a first aid kit available.
• Drain and clean backyard kiddie pools after each use to minimize the risk of infection.
• Keep sick kids out of a pool, even when it's filtered and chlorinated, especially a toddler still in diapers or one who is not yet toilet trained. Adults should also stay out when sick.
• Don't rely on water wings or other toy flotation devices as life preservers for children.
• Keep tricycles and other riding toys out of the pool area.
• Don't allow running on the deck, pushing into the pool or dunking.
• Never slide headfirst or dive into an above-ground pool.
• Don't dive from a pool deck unless the water is at least five feet deep.
• Stay out of the pool and off wet ground when thunder or lightning approaches.
• Pools don't mix with alcohol or drugs. Be cautious with anyone under the influence.