Police Chief Michael L. Lyle reminds residents to please stay safe this summer while trying to beat the heat poolside.

The American Red Cross reports that over 200 children drown in backyard swimming pools each year. So far, two children in New England have died from drowning in pools this season. To prevent tragic accidents, Chief Lyle suggests the following tips:

• Per Massachusetts regulation, have at least a 4-foot-high barrier that encloses the pool and an access gate that self-closes, locks, and opens outward from the swimming area (even if you don’t have children).

• Fasten a safety cover over the pool when it is not in use, and remove ladders to further prevent access to the pool. For added safety, install a pool alarm that will sound if anyone enters the water.

• Never leave children unattended while they are near or in the pool, and make sure they have an adult to accompany them into the water. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm floats.

• Make sure children stay away from pool drains, pipes, or any other opening to avoid getting trapped or hurt. If a child is missing, always check the pool first.

• Set safety instructions and share them with family, friends, neighbors, or anyone else who uses the pool. Advise children to stay away from pool deep ends, and to always walk, never run near the pool.

• Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency situation occurs. Update skills regularly.

• Store pool chemicals in a safe manner and only open chemical containers outside or in a well-ventilated area. Chemical fumes can be very harmful and have resulted in residents needing to go to the hospital.

“We certainly hope residents enjoy themselves by the water this summer and also take the time to implement these suggestions before and after opening their pools” Chief Lyle said. “Remember to always keep an eye on children when they’re in or near the pool and secure the area when not in use.”


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