With the tragic drowning of a Darien mother on July 4, thoughts of many are turning to their own private pools and exactly how safe are they.
How could this happen?
Dr. David Knauf, head of the town’s health department said that pool accidents are not rare — and there is one thing that can prevent many of them: Common sense, which he called the “biggest factor” in pool safety.
“A lot of things that happen around pools are due to horsing around,” he said.
Another safety tip Knauf had was to not swim alone. “Don’t say, ‘honey, I’ll be right back,’” he said. “As simple as it sounds, don’t go swimming by yourself. Have someone near, even if they are just in the backyard,” he said.
“Being within earshot doesn’t work — because if you go under, you can’t call out,” Knauf said.
Knauf also said another aspect of common sense is to always keep an eye on children by the pool.
But pool safety goes beyond just swimming — Knauf said it is important to run the pool’s filtration system properly.
“If you don’t know how to run the filtration system properly, you can have problems with the chemistry getting mixed up,” he said.
“You have to constantly be checking the water quality and pH. If the water gets cloudy and you can’t fix it yourself, call someone,” Knauf said.
Knauf also said that filters must be running all the time, not just when the pool is in use.
Amelia McCann, 45, mother of three, was found dead in the family pool at her home on Mansfield Avenue on the morning of Wednesday, July 4. The state medical examiner said the cause of death was asphyxiation due to submersion — or drowning. Darien Police Captain Fred Komm said all evidence points to a tragic accident but said the investigation will not be complete until the final autopsy report is completed.
Toxicology results normally take about four months to come back, the medical examiner’s office said.
Knauf said his sympathies go out to the McCann family. “It’s a terrible thing,” he said.
“PWools are attractive nuisances,” Knauf said. “People love them, but they are really pretty dangerous due to the accidents that occur because of them.”
More info: poolsafely.gov