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Kids and pools: A lethal combination?

It’s a horrifically common story – a toddler wanders away from his or her mother and, only three minutes later, has drowned in the pool. Considering that babies can drown in two inches of water if they fall face down, an entire swimming pool can provide enough water to give you nightmares every summer for the rest of your life. 

But as a parent, your relationship with swimming pools doesn’t have to be so morbid. With a few essential precautions, your summer can be blessed with water-related fun. 
1. Build a fence around your pool. 
Although there are a number of other ways to cover or close a pool, a fence is a must for creating an initial barrier from entry to the pool from the get-go. 
“The pool fence should be at least 1.5 meters high,” says Mahmoud Samir, a swim instructor certified in CPR. "Children as young as 3 years old can drag chairs over to fences to try to climb.” 
Samir adds that latches for fences should be childproof, especially at the top of the gate and inside the pool enclosure, to lessen the chances of children figuring out how to open them. 
2. Cover the pool with a safety net. 
Although actual covers are more popular here in Egypt, safety nets provide parents with the comfort of being able to see to the bottom of the pool. 
“A properly-installed safety net should reach far beyond the edge of the pool,” explains Haitham Abdel Salam, who works at a pool installing company in Cairo. 
Abdel Salam mentions "Katcha Kid" as the leading brand in safety nets because of its resilience and the size of the spaces between the ropes. 
“The idea of a net also allows pool companies to clean the water and check the chemical levels without having to remove the net,” Abdel Salam adds. 
3. Give your children safety turtles. 
The "turtle" is a bracelet made by Safety Turtle, and you can attach one to each of your children. Made of brightly-colored cloth, the bracelets are not uncomfortable and latch on in such away that they cannot be removed. A "base station" sounds an alarm and flashes lights if the turtle bracelet is submerged in water. 
4. Follow up with adult supervision. 
Although adult supervision is never enough for a pool and small children, an adult in the area is essential. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children under age five should be kept at arm’s length at all times and that any adult supervising children by a pool should be trained in CPR. Although adults like this are potentially hard to come by, consider at least looking at a free online CPR course at or at least watching videos on YouTube just in case a child falls in the pool. 
5. Pool safety measures continue while swimming. 
Although most of the fear involves a child wandering into the pool while everyone is having lunch or distracted elsewhere, the chance that a child drowns in a pool continues when everyone else is in the pool as well. 
“Get children who cannot swim outfitted with the proper flotation gear,” says Suzanne Horsey, a certified lifeguard in Los Angeles. "Although it is tempting to rely on floaters, keep life jackets and rescue rings around in case of anything.” 
Horsey also recommends the CPR course. “As a parent, you should know CPR, if not be certified,” she adds.

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