(Para leer la versión española de este artículo siga el link de noticias relacionadas. To read the Spanish version of this article, follow the link of related news).

As soon as the weather warms up, many home pools will be open and ready for children and adults to jump in for a cool dip. Summer vacation is beginning and children of all ages are anxious to go swimming.

Did you know that according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 300 children under the age of five drown each year in home swimming pools?

Another 2,000 children under five are treated in emergency rooms following swimming pool accidents. Therefore, in hopes of preventing an accident, I would like to share some of the following safety tips with you:

. Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool.

. Do not consider young children “drown-proof” because they have had swimming lessons; young children should always be watched carefully while swimming.

. Always instruct babysitters about potential hazards to young children in and around swimming pools and the need for constant supervision.

. Do not use floatation devices as a substitute for supervision.

. Place tables and chairs well away from the pool fence to prevent children from climbing into the pool area.

. Keep toys away from the pool area because a young child playing with the toys could accidentally fall in the water.

. Remove steps to above-ground pools when not in use.

. Have a telephone at poolside to avoid having to leave children unattended in or near the pool to answer a telphone elsewhere. Keep emergency numbers at the poolside telephone.

. Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)

. Keep rescue equipment by the pool.

. Keep doors that exit the pool locked, not just latched, at all times. Locks should be out of reach of young children. Young children can quickly slip away and into the pool.

. Never dive into above-ground pools. They are too shallow.

. Don’t dive from the side of an in-ground pool. enter the water feet first.

. Dive only from the end of the diving board and not from the sides.

. Don’t dive if you have been using alcohol or drugs because your reaction time may be too slow.

Lastly, only you can prevent a drowning. Watch your child or children closely at all times and have a great safe summer.