YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

A Primer in Pool Mythology

June 15, 1997|DAN GORDON

When it comes to pool safety involving young children, experts say, a number of myths have been perpetuated.

Myth: Most drownings occur when a child is playing in or near a pool.

Fact: In most cases, the child was last seen in the house doing something safe, such as sleeping, playing or watching TV.

Myth: A drowning child can be heard.

Fact: Particularly when it involves a child under 5--the age when the risk is greatest--drowning tends to be silent and quick, with the child losing consciousness in 20 seconds or less.

Myth: The most important drowning prevention measure is constant supervision.

Fact: While supervision is important, no one can maintain visual contact with a child 24 hours a day. Drowning prevention experts believe "layers of protection" in the form of fences, pool covers, door alarms and other devices and precautionary measures are most effective.

Myth: Swimming lessons can "drown-proof" young children.

Fact: While this may be true of some children--particularly those older than 5--most younger children will swim only upon the command of an adult. It is unrealistic to think that they will remember how to swim when they slip underwater, alone.

Los Angeles Times Articles