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Around the Town: July 23, 2010

Pool Safety

While summer brings some fun in the sun, especially in our backyard pools, it is important to practice pool safety and prevent accidental drownings. Before the summer even officially began on June 21, three Long Island children had already drowned in homeowner swimming pools.

Accidents can happen quickly and with little warning. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, more than 800 children ages 1 to 14 drown each year across the United States. It’s a good idea to set down definite pool rules covering use. Here are some guidelines for you and your family to practice:

While it’s pleasurable to have a swimming pool in your backyard, it’s also vital to follow certain precautions so that everyone enjoys a safe summer in and around your pool. Our Pool Safety and Alarm Guide offers information on pool alarms and pool safety tips. Under law passed on Sept.16, 2008, all swimming pools installed or maintained in unincorporated areas of Hempstead Town must have a pool alarm. Call 812-3200 to obtain a copy of the guide.

Whenever young children are swimming, playing or bathing in water, an adult should be constantly watching them.

Access doors or gates to the pool area with high locks are a good precaution.

A fence should be installed completely around the pool with self-closing and locking gates. The fence should completely separate the pool from the house and play area of the yard.

Keeping rescue equipment and a telephone by the pool could prove to be an invaluable aid in the event of an accident.

Removing all toys from the pool after use will help children resist the temptation to reach for them.

Take the time to learn CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and accident procedures. If not your own child, you may be able to save someone else’s. Many local hospitals have programs for this type of training.

If your child is missing, always check the pool first.

If you are considering installing a pool, be sure to comply with Town of Hempstead codes. Specific requirements are detailed in a guide available through the Town of Hempstead’s Building Department. Copies of this guide can be obtained by either calling 538-8500 or logging onto our website, www.TOH.LI.

Making pool safety a priority and following these precautions will help to keep your family and friends safe throughout the summer.