Health Tip: Pool Fencing Helps Prevent Drowning

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(HealthDay News) -- The inviting blue waves of a swimming pool can be deadly for a curious youngster.

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4, the American Academy of Pediatrics says,citing U.S. government statistics.

The academy offers these pool-fencing suggestions:

  • The fence should be at least four feet high and completely surround the pool, separating it from the house and the rest of the yard.
  • Avoid keeping lawn furniture or other objects near the fence that a child could use to climb over.
  • Vertical slats should be no more than four inches apart, to prevent a small child from squeezing through them.
  • The fence should have a self-closing gate that only opens out, away from the pool area. The latch should be out of a child's reach -- at least 54 inches from the ground.
  • When the pool is not in use, make sure the gate is locked.
  • Don't depend on the fence alone; install a pool alarm. A child can drown within seconds, with barely a splash. A pool alarm can detect waves and sound off to attract attention when someone has fallen into the pool.

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