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Health agencies recommend safe-guarding residential pools - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Health agencies recommend safe-guarding residential pools

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SHREVEPORT, La. -

On Memorial Day, a one-year-old Shreveport boy was rushed to the hospital after falling into a swimming pool.

He was found quickly enough and survived.

And on Sunday, in Gregg County, Texas, a 2-year-old boy drowned after wandering into a neighbor's pool.

Even the most attentive parent can lose track of their child in the blink of an eye.

That's why experts say one of the most important steps a parent can take toward water safety is teaching their child to swim.

"It sounds so simple and so easy but so many kids don't know how to swim," says Michelle Davison, with the Northwest Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Davison says some of that problem lies in the fact that many parents are afraid of the water, and pass that fear to their children.

"They've never taught their children how to swim. They don't want to be around the water so they're afraid to bring their children around the water."

While there's no substitute for vigilant supervision, there are some steps people can take to safe guard their residential pool.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends installing a fence barricading the pool that's at least four feet tall.

Get a gate lock that's self-closing and latching, and, in your home, secure any doors and windows to eliminate access to the pool.

The AAP also suggets getting an in-the-water pool alarm that will alert you if anyone jumps or falls into the water.

Also, eliminate temptation for kids. Keep toys out of the pool and well away from the pool area.

And remember, if possible, remove pool steps and ladders when you're not using them.

Also, children and adults should learn basic CPR.

"One of the good things about a drowning case with CPR is that usually there's not an underlying issue. Usually it's just because of the drowning that they're in that cardiac arrest conditon."

And Davison says to never swim alone, no matter how proficient you are in the water.

"Always have a swim buddy, so even if that swim buddy can't necessarily help them they can call for help, get help, get somebody who can help."

Children of all ages should wear life jackets when on a boat or near a body of water.

According to the CDC, everyday, about ten people die from unintentional drowning.

Of those, two are children ages 14 and younger.

Most children ages one to four drown in home swimming pools.

Shreveport Public Assembly & Recreation (SPAR) offers free swimming lessons at area pools througout the city. For more information on those locations, click here.

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