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Life Guarding


Our NBC 10 news crews will report on too many local drownings and near-drownings this season. Hundreds of kids across the country die every summer in backyard pools, which is why the Consumer Product Safety Commission has just launched a campaign to change the way we all think about pool and spa safety.

Several Main Line pool companies tell me the biggest issue for pool owners is that they don’t know enough about proper gating. Here are some helpful tips:

• Pools should be completely enclosed.
• Gates should be self-closing and self-latching.
• Gates should open outward, not inward.
• Pool alarms should be installed on all outdoor entrances to a pool.

In recent years, more and more entrapment situations also have occurred. Drains of pools and spas are powerful and can have tremendous suction. If a drain doesn’t have a cover and a child gets near it, they can be taken in and won’t be able to get out on their own—or even when pulled. It actually happened to the grandchild of former Secretary of State James Baker. The only way to release a drain’s lock on a child is to turn off the switch. The best advice:

• All pools and spas should have new drain covers.
• The on/off switch should be visible and exposed, so anyone can flip it off immediately.

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