As the original Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in 1990, regulations for swimming pools, wading pools and spas were already in place. However, they were not actual laws, only guidelines. Now, the ADA will begin to enforce a new law, which was announced in July 2010, regulating these recreational amenities. This law will provide individuals with disabilities more opportunity to enjoy swimming pools, wading pools and spas, which can be an integral part of exercise routines.

Mid South Pool Builders is committed to assisting facilities that need to become compliant. Here is an overview of what the new law means for publicly and privately owned entities with swimming pools, wading pools and spas.

Click here to read the U.S. Department of Justice’s final regulations regarding new pool requirements: http://www.ada.gov/revised_effective_dates-2010.htm

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A = Adult Supervision

  • Assign an adult to supervise children in and around the swimming pool and spa. This is needed whether there is one parent or guardian present or numerous adults present such as during a family event or party.
  • Maintain constant eye-to-eye supervision with children in and around the swimming pool and spa.
  • Remove children from the swimming pool and spa area for any distraction such as a telephone call, use of restroom, etc.
  • Issue the adult supervisor an item such as a whistle, bracelet, etc. to reinforce which adult is in charge of the safety of the children.
  • Floaties or other inflatable flotation devices are not life jackets and should never be substituted for adult supervision.
  • Maintain a clear view (no trees, bushes or other obstacles) from the home to the swimming pool and spa.
  • Ensure any adult responsible for the children know the emergency services telephone number and also your location address in the event emergency personnel are needed to be called to the scene.

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• Learn to swim. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim. Always swim with a buddy; never swim alone. The American Red Cross has swimming courses for people of any age and swimming ability. To enroll in a swim course, contact your local Red Cross chapter.

• Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard.

• Read and obey all rules and posted signs.

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According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 260 children under five years of age drown each year in residential swimming pools and spas. The Commission estimates that another 3,000 children under age five are treated in hospital emergency rooms following submersion accidents each year. Some of these submersion accidents result in permanent brain damage.
Nationally, drowning is the fourth leading cause of death to children under five. In some states such as California, Florida and Arizona, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death to children under five.

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