Don’t let water fun turn into swimming tragedy

Published 2:31 am Saturday, May 30, 2009

On Wednesday and Thursday, just 25 hours apart, two children drowned in swimming pools in Alabama.

On Wednesday, a 3-year-old child drowned in a backyard pool in Montgomery. On Thursday, a 6-year-old drowned in a country club pool in Decatur at a birthday party.

In the Montgomery case, no one knew how long the toddler had been in the water, while in Decatur, the child was among friends and grown-ups at a country club pool.

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In swimming pool drownings, it always seems like an improbable thing to happen to anyone — until it happens.

The families of those children are likely in anguish over the simple things that could have avoided those tragedies. Please do what you can to make sure that these avoidable tragedies don’t happen to you.

If you own a pool in your yard, put it in a secured area, with a fence or other prohibitive surrounding, and make sure the gate is locked when the pool is not in use.

Put a secured covering over the pool so that no one can get in without taking the top off, and make sure it is locked in place when the pool is not in use.

When non-swimmers are around a pool setting, watch them and make sure you know where they are at all times. Better yet, keep them away from the pool while they are at that location.

Teach your children about being safe around water and to respect it.

Very likely, these will not be the only victims of avoidable swimming pool drownings this year. There may be some drownings that even the most stringent measures could not prevent, but doing all you can to prevent accidental drownings is well worth the effort.