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Lisa Black

Families urged to consider barriers like fencing, door locks, and alarms to keep children from pools when they are not supposed to be swimming

ITASCA, IL (June 23, 2020) – If you are installing a new pool this year to entertain the kids during COVID-19 – or if your yard already includes a pool – this is the year to consider adding a four-sided fence to keep children safe from drowning.

“Tragically, we know that about 70% of drownings for younger kids happen when it’s not swim time,” said pediatrician Ben Hoffman, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence & Poison Prevention. “Making sure kids can’t get to water when they’re not supposed to be in the water, is the most important thing for families to consider.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends fencing as the No. 1 way to prevent unsupervised access to swimming pools. That’s even more important this year, when children will be spending more time at home, and parents and caregivers may be distracted by work responsibilities. Whether you purchase an inflatable or above-ground pool, install a new in-ground pool, or fill up a wading pool in the back yard, it’s important to plan how you will prevent children from drowning.

“Because of the pandemic, families might be tempted to go out and buy a pool, whether that’s a big inflatable pool or a little wading pool,” Dr. Hoffman said. “If you are buying a larger pool, it’s important to think about fencing or other barriers so kids can’t get to the water when they’re not supposed to be swimming. For smaller pools, be sure to empty them right after every swim time.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging parents and other adults to plan multiple layers of protection to keep children and teens safe around water this spring and summer.  Learn more here.

AAP offers media outlets a video package that includes b-roll to illustrate fencing and other pool barriers important to keep children safe. The package also includes video of life jackets, boating safety, swimming lessons, and parents practicing close supervision, as well as soundbites with Dr. Hoffman.

All the materials are available at

For an interview with Dr. Hoffman or with a pediatrician in your state, contact AAP Media Relations Manager Lisa Black at 630-626-6084, or at


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds

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