Minneapolis, MN (October 14, 2014) -  It's that time of year again- the weather is changing and that means it's time to close your in- or above-ground pool. Abbey's Hope Charitable Foundation wants to remind you that just because your pool is closed doesn't mean that you can stop thinking about pool safety. " Summer is not officially over until you take the necessary steps to close down your pool. Any body of water is a potential drowning hazard," adds Katey Taylor, co-founder of Abbey's Hope. As you close your pool for the season, take these steps to ensure your children are not injured (or worse) over the winter:

1. Pool Covers Save Lives A safety pool cover offers numerous benefits for swimming pool owners, but the one that trumps all others in that they prevent drowning. As a safety device, the cover acts as a horizontal fence, completely sealing off the pool and preventing accidental access to the pool water by children, pets and uninvited visitors. And while there's no substitute for proper supervision, your pool can be protected even when you're not around. It's the ultimate safety barrier that no pool (in-ground or above-ground) should be without.

2. Clear the Pool Deck Make sure to store all pool furniture, toys and ladders for the season. Each of these items can provide unauthorized access to a pool/spa or can attract children to the water's edge-a possibly deadly combination.

3. Portable Pools Should be Taken Down Portable pools vary in size and height, from tiny blow-up pools to larger designs that hold thousands of gallons of water. They are easy to use, affordable and fun for the family, but portable pools can be deadly and present a real danger to young children. At the end of the season, make sure you empty the water and store the pool for the winter.

4. Time for Safety Maintenance Take advantage of pool closing time to make sure the fencing around the pool is in good order. The fence should be at least 4 feet high and the gate should be self-closing and locking. Also, make sure your pool or spa has anti-entrapment drain covers.

Now that your pool has been safely closed and winterized, get out your skis, ice fishing equipment or skates. Enjoy the winter!

About Abbey’s Hope:
Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation is a Minnesota nonprofit organization named after Abbey Taylor, the Edina, Minn., 6-year-old who died in 2008 as a result of injuries sustained from an improperly maintained pool drain cover.

The foundation’s goal is to:

  • Promote awareness of and education related to child safety issues, including educating pool owners, operators, inspectors, and the general public about the dangers of pool entrapment, evisceration and drowning and the need for physical inspections of pool equipment.
  • Work with the pool and spa industry to improve the design of its products, packaging and warning labels, and assist in the development of product safety standards related to such products.
  • Identify and provide support and assistance to organizations and programs that help educate parents, children, and pool and spa manufacturers about the prevention of entrapment and traditional forms of drowning. 

 

Find out more about Abbey’s Hope at http://abbeyshope.org

The Dragonfly Story

Excerpted from the eulogy at Abbey Taylor's Celebration of Life Service

Below the surface of a quiet pond lived a colony of water bugs. They were happy, living far from the sun. But they noticed that occasionally, a member of their colony would climb up a lily stalk and disappear from sight, never to return. Where do you suppose she went? wondered a water bug.

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Pool Safety Tips

  • Use the Water Watchdog System to make sure children are always closely supervised in the pool area.

  • Remind kids to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.

  • Never dive into water less than 9 feet deep.

  • Keep gates to the pool area latched.


More water safety tips