NDPA In The Media

Original Article: ABC News   |   By: Mason Leib

Shop the best pool safety products for summer

ABC News fielded guidance from the National Drowning Prevention Alliance.

Pool safety is a crucial component to being a responsible parent and homeowner with a pool.

Hot summer days by a private pool can be relaxing and necessary to cool down as temperature can press over 100 degrees in some parts of the country. Children can also enjoy the summer activity as learning to swim can play an integral part in core childhood memories.

However, drowning deaths are prevalent and a continued factor in the loss of life, according to the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA). In fact, the NDPA lists drowning as the leading cause of death for children aged 1 to 4. The organization cites over 4,000 drowning deaths each year.

In order to understand the best ways to practice pool safety, ABC News contacted Dr. Adam Katchmarchi Ph.D., the CEO of the NDPA.

Meet the expert

Katchmarchi has been on the NDPA board since 2013 and has a Ph.D. in coaching and teaching studies. He also works as an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Sciences at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Katchmarchi is also a board member of the U.S. National Water Safety Action Plan.

5 pool safety tips

“The first thing to remember is that drowning is an accident and can happen when we least expect it,” wrote Katchmarchi in the guidance provided to ABC News.

He said drownings are usually silent and occur during “non-swim time,” adding parents can try to avoid these accidents by using the NDPA’s five layers of protection strategy.

First, pool owners should focus on barriers and alarms. Katchmarchi recommends a fully encapsulated fence system that is at least 4 feet in height and unclimbable. The NDPA also recommends pool safety covers, but not to be used in place of fencing. “Not all pool covers are safety covers, so it is important to ensure the cover you are installing is designed to act as a protective safety barrier,” said Katchmarchi.

Supervision is the second layer of protection, and one that Katchmarchi notes is crucial during swim time. He advises parents to practice “touch-supervision” meaning “being able to reach out and touch your child” while they swim.

As a third layer of protection, he said parents can instill water competency in their children like floating and treading to make sure children can handle themselves in water.

Fourth, Katchmarchi recommends the use of life jackets when around bodies of water. Finally, the fifth layer of protection is emergency preparedness.

“Knowing what to do an in emergency has been shown to lead to better outcomes,” he noted.

Emergency preparedness techniques include knowing the basics of CPR and educating your child on how to call 911.

Items crucial to pool safety

Pool fences and alarms

As suggested by the expert, pool fences at least 4 feet tall and pool alarms can deter pool entrance during unsupervised times.

VINGLI Swimming Pool Fence

This pool fence measures 4 feet by 108 feet and is sturdy enough to withstand extreme weather conditions, according to the description.

WaterWarden Pool Fence 5′ x 12′

This fense is made from a more durable UV protected meshylene fabric so the fence will stay upright and sturdy in all climates.

BCONE® System Pool Alarm by Lifebuoy®

A functioning pool alarm can alert pool owners when children have entered the pool at times they may not be supervised.

SwamCam Pool Alarm Camera
SwamCam Pool Alarm Camera

This alarm system uses wifi to send a push notification with photos as well as a livestream to monitor scenarios where someone may have fallen into the pool.

Pool safety covers

The NDPA recommends choosing pool safety covers such as the options below that adhere to the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) International voluntary standard of safety.

WaterWarden Inground Pool Safety Cover
WaterWarden Inground Pool Safety Cover

This product is in accordance with the ASTM standard and is made with durable polypropylene.

Water Warden Rectangle Green Mesh In-Ground Safety Pool Cover, ASTM F1346 Certified
Water Warden Rectangle Green Mesh In-Ground Safety Pool Cover, ASTM F1346 Certified

The ASTM certified pool safety cover notes that the approved covers undergo performance tests to prove durability.

Safety devices

Learning water competency at a young age can be a form of pool safety, according to Katchmarchi.

28 inch Boat Safety Throw Ring with Water Floating Lifesaving Rope
28 inch Boat Safety Throw Ring with Water Floating Lifesaving Rope

Ring buoys can be a helpful tool in teaching swim competency to children new to the water.

Swim Buoy Waterproof Dry Bag Swim Safety Float

This bag can be used a storage compartment to keep items dry and as a safety floatation device.