Program teaches pool safety
Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1 to 14.
Safe Kids Hawaii will present an educational program from 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at Toys R Us in Pearlridge, focusing on pool and spa safety.
This year's campaign concentrates specifically on drain entrapment and entanglement.
More of Hawaii's children are swimming in pools instead of the ocean due to the recent sewage spills, said Su Yates, local Safe Kids Hawaii coordinator.
Yet, a national survey indicated that 66 percent of parents were not aware of the dangers of a child becoming entangled in a pool or spa drain.
Entrapment occurs when part of a child's body becomes attached to a drain. "A child is no match for the powerful suction of a drain," Yates said. "Parents should warn their children to stay away from drains and install safety devices if they own a pool or spa."
Kids can also get swimsuits caught on ladders or other underwater objects.
Parents should use caution no matter how deep the water, Yates said.
Shallow wading pools and bathtubs can become dangerous, as many young children have not developed the motor skills to lift themselves even from a few inches of water.
Children should never be left unattended when in or near water, she added.
Pool / Hot Tub Safety
» Warn your children about the dangers of becoming caught in a drain and teach them to stay away from the drain.
» Install protection to prevent entrapment. With new pools or hot tubs, install multiple drains or use a no-drain circulation system. With older pools, install anti-entrapment drain covers and a safety vacuum release system to automatically release suction and shut down the pump should entrapment occur.
» Actively supervise your children around water and have a phone nearby to call for help in an emergency.
» Fence in your pool and install a self-closing, self-latching gate, to prevent a child from wandering into the pool area unsupervised.
» Hot tubs should be covered and locked when not in use.
» Install a door alarm, a window alarm or both to alert you if a child wanders into the pool area unsupervised.
Source: Safe Kids