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Child Drownings Down by 10% in Florida: How and Why It’s Happening

pool fence companies A new report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that drownings among young children have dropped significantly in Florida. While the state leads the country in child drownings, 2015 has brought a 10% decrease in deaths. The Commission stated there have been 44 media-reported deaths related to pool and spa drownings.

While this is a step in the right direction for Florida, there is still plenty to be done. 20% of drowning deaths are children under the age of 14. A lack of safety guards, supervision or a combination of both contribute to these tragedies.

Aside from hiring pool fence companies to install safety guards such as swimming pool safety fences, custom swimming pool nets, and pool gates, many parents are choosing to teach their children how to rescue themselves if they fall into the pool or hot tub.

Referred to as Infant Swimming Resource lessons (ISR), instructors are teaching children as young as 6 months old how to float and roll over in the water. There are also classes available that allow a teacher to come to your home and perform lessons in your pool. Some of these young children are learning to do this before they’re even able to walk. The importance of this added security measure isn’t lost on instructors and parents alike.

ISR instructor Kathy Cole is a firm believer in ISR as an added safety precaution to other security measures.

“I just think that it’s so important to give children an extra layer of protection so that if they happen to find the water alone, if all the other barriers breakdown… that they’re able to have that last layer of protection to help themselves,” she explained.

However, she wants parents to understand how important fences, alarms and locks are when it comes to pool safety.

“Constant eyes-on supervision, then the barriers, the alarms, locks up high on the doors, definitely pool fences, making sure that your pool furniture that’s around the pool fence is heavy that children can’t move furniture over to the edge because that’s a big thing,” explained Cole. “Those are the main lines of defense and then ISR lessons, self rescue lessons are the last lines of the defense.”

While ISR is a great resource to prepare for an emergency, homeowners shouldn’t rely solely on their child’s ability to rescue themselves. Pool fences and safety covers are the first line of defense. Before installation, pool fence companies should talk to consumers about any mishaps they’ve had in the past as well as what they hope to get out of a fence. This will help them decide what fence and/or cover will work best for you.

Fences should be at least four feet high with self-latching gates. Latches should always be out of the reach of children. But the most important security measure is constant supervision of children near any open body of water. Pool fence companies are making this even easier with mesh fences, which allow full visibility for parents.

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