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Pool safety for kids under age 5



According to the MayoClinic, about 300 children (under the age of 5) drown each year in U.S. swimming pools. Most victims were being supervised, by one or both parents, and nearly 70 percent of the children were not expected to be near the pool when they were found in the water.

"Safety guidelines need to constantly be followed to prevent these very sad deaths from happening," says Richard L. Soloway, noted security expert and chairman of NAPCO Security Systems, Inc.

Soloway has compiled a list of guidelines for pool safety:

* Never leave kids unattended. No matter how well young children can swim, they must always, be supervised by an adult who knows CPR. During parties adults can take turns at being the designated watcher.

* Use dual layers of protection around the pool. A fenced in yard is not enough protection; pools need to be surrounded by secure fencing material, at least four feet high with no gaps and with childproof locks.

* Use motorized pool covers when not in use. Strong motorized pool covers that close over the pool after each use can provide a protective barrier. This cover should be strong enough to hold the weight of two adults and a child in case of emergency.

* Remove toys from pool after use. Do not leave kid's pool toys in the pool after using.

* Have rescue equipment by the pool area. Have a life preserver, shepherd' hook and working telephone poolside in case of an emergency.

* Don't use air-filled swimming aids. These are not suitable for children because they are not approved life vests.

* Teach children how to swim at a young age. Many local YMCAs offer swimming lessons, and children should be taught by a professional.

* Make sure your neighbor's pool is safe. Children that are going to a friend's or neighbor's pool should make sure the neighbors are following safety guidelines.

* Properly winterize pools. Pools should be covered and winterized appropriately during the winter months.

* NAPCO's alarm system Freedom 64? can be wired to any professionally installed pool detector and will notify a homeowner if someone or something has fallen into the pool.

NAPCO Security Systems is a global leader in design and manufacturing of patented electronic and mechanical security systems whose products include intrusion alarms, fire alarms, electronic locking devices and access control systems.