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Pool Safety Concerns Take Center Stage

poolCHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB) –Bonnie Gascoigne says stressing  pool rules to her 3 and 6 year old grandchildren saved a life last year  when one of them fell in. “I taught them, you know, if they fall in and they don’t have floaties on, you need to keep your face out of the water and ask for help, she did just that. She held his face out of the water and the mother was able to pull him out,” she relayed.

In fact, two months ago, Governor Deval Patrick signed this proclamation making May Drowning Awareness Month, noting that it’s the leading cause of accidental death in children. “Always make sure your child is supervised at all times. We can’t stress that enough. Children are very quick, they can easily fall into the pool,” said Diane Hieronyus, Assistant Store manager at Chicopee’s Teddy Bear Pools & Spas.

Hieronyous adds that state law mandates that homeowners have a latch, gate, and alarm for their pools.

Last year, a Boston man invented a headband sensor that would sound an alarm after it’s been submerged for 30 seconds. Another device installed in the pool would sound an alarm as soon as someone jumps in. Still, folks say that nothing can take the place of vigilance. “I don’t think we need it. If you’re right there, and we’ve had kids fall over the side. But we’re right there,” Sandra Helliwell stated.

We taught our grandkids to swim as early as humanly possible, and now their water bugs, but we still watch them,” Peter Helliwell added.

It’s also recommended that homeowners keep rescue and first aid equipment near their pools.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 137 children under the age of 15 drowned in a pool or spa last year.

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