May is Drowning Prevention Awareness Month

Sean Findlay of the Los Angeles County Fire Department returns to the surface of the dive pool at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center with a weighted belt during a dive rescue training program on Thursday. They complete their month-long training today. Katharine Lotze/Signal

In honor of Drowning Prevention Awareness Month this May, companies are taking steps to caution people about poolside safety.

As pool time and beach trips increase, so also does the number of drowning tragedies around the country. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children between ages 1-4, according to the Center for Disease Control. Ten drowning deaths per day occur in the United States, and children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. Most occur in home swimming pools.

It’s suggested that people remain aware of potential dangers in an environment at all times, according to a release from D&D Technologies, a gate hardware provider. People should make sure to attend to children at all times if they are near water.

Installing “isolation fencing” that completely separates the pool or spa area from the house or other structures, is one way to keep children safe, according to the release. Making sure fences meet all applicable local safety codes, such as ensuring they are self-latching and at least 60 inches tall with vertical bars set close to one another so that a small child cannot squeeze through, is another safety precaution parents should take.

The company also suggests that gates should open away from the pool and have self-closing hinges. Latches should be out of the reach of children, at least 54 inches from the ground, and should never be propped open.

Anything that can be climbed, such as chairs, tables, storage bins, playground equipment, ice chests, etc. should be inside the fence area, the company said.

D&D Technologies has also come up with a MagnaLatch Child Safety Gate Latch with a MagnaLatch ALERT, the first of its kind to be a combined gate latch and electronic alarm.  The gate latch-alarm offers a dual alarm system of flashing LED lights and an audible alarm, with a single beep monitoring the opening and closing of the gate.

For more information on National Drowning Prevention Awareness Month visit the National Drowning Prevention Alliance at              

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