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Pools can be a deadly danger

Victor Lewin - Sunday, August 23, 2015

If you are a Halifax resident with a pool, chances are that you are aware of the liability you face in the event that a drowning occurs in your pool. Your insurance carrier certainly hopes that you are.

But many don't realize that two inches of water is enough to cause a drowning, and it can take less than a few minutes for a small child to slip soundlessly into the water and drown.

Hundreds of kids younger than five drown in swimming pools every year. Thousands more experience near-drowning episodes that can leave them with permanent disabilities. Most of these tragedies unfold in pools right in the backyard.

There is no question that pools can be both fun and relaxing, as well as a good source of exercise and entertainment. But if you want to fully enjoy your pool, you have to take the appropriate precautions.

-- Never assume that a child will avoid a pool. If a kid goes missing, check the pool first.

-- Install tall fencing around the perimeter and keep it securely locked. Use pool alarms that are triggered by the weight of a child entering the water.

-- If your house is the fourth wall to your pool, make sure that the door leading outside is equipped with an alarm that sounds each time the door is opened.

-- Buy a shepherd's hook and life ring and have them beside the pool for emergencies.

-- Keep a cordless phone or cellphone outside by the pool in case you need to call for help.

-- Family members should get certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

-- Above-ground pools need to have the steps and ladders removed after each use and locked away in another area.

If you have lost a family member to a drowning incident in someone else's pool, you may have a legal right to compensation for your loss.

Source: Consumer Affairs, "Swimming Pools - Safety Is No Accident," accessed July 23, 2015

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