If a Child is Missing, Check the Pool First!

If a Child is Missing, Check the Pool First!

A missing child can be a very scary thing. Understandably, most parents are panicked in this type of situation. To improve your chances of finding your child unharmed, always check the pool first!

During your search, you'll want to be thorough. Still, before you run indoors looking for likely hiding places, you should be absolutely sure that your little one hasn't fallen into the water. After all, the pool is a high-danger location. It should actually be among the first places you look.

Why Check the Pool First?

If you have a child missing, call for help. Then, check the most high-risk locations.  According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of deaths among children aged one through four. Not only that, this scary event can happen extremely quickly.  In a matter of minutes, your child can go from playing in their room to drowning in the pool.  

Remember, just because your child wasn’t previously in the pool doesn’t mean that they can’t end up there. The fact of the matter is that children are curious risk-takers. It may not seem logical for them to be in the pool, but there are many ways for them to end up there. After all, the last place 46 percent of drowned children had been seen was in their house. This can happen innocently, perhaps by reaching for a pool toy and falling in.

If that isn’t alarming enough, most drowning cases – contrary to what you see in the movies – are very quiet. If your little one is, for instance, hiding in another room of the house, they are likely to remain safe for longer than if they are in the water. By checking the pool first, you increase your chances of getting the child out safely.

Prevent Drowning With Layers of Safety

The first step to preventing a tragic drowning on your property is to enclose the pool behind a fence. This will be especially helpful in preventing children and animals from entering the area without supervision. Your fence should also have a safe entryway. After all, what good is a fence, when someone can walk right in? Instead, make sure your gate is self-closing and self-latching.

Beyond that, extra layers of protection ensure additional safety for your loved ones. Some options you may want to consider include installing an alarm on all widows and doors that access the pool.  You can also include alarms on the actual pool fence. 

In addition, there are some personal steps you can take to achieve optimal safety for you and your child.  First, everyone in your home should take swim lessons. You’d be surprised at how young kids can be taught water survival skills. Ensuring that everyone is trained can minimize the need for immediate rescue should someone end up in the water. It also allows you to get to the person in need should they still need assistance.  Next, become certified in CPR.  This simple skill is quite literally a lifesaver. 

Other Drowning Risks 

When we hear drowning, many of us think of pools. However, it is important to remember that any body of water is a drowning risk.  This includes natural environments like the ocean or lake, but it also includes your toilet and bathtub.  Someone, especially a small child, can drown in as little as two inches of water. So check the pool first, but don't forget to check any other potential water hazards! 

Previous article Ways to Get to School Safely: Buses, Bikes and Walking