Pool Safety Tips For This Summer
Summer is just around the corner! That means kids will soon be out of school and looking for fun summer activities. Whether it is in your backyard or at the public park, a trip to the swimming pool can be a great way to stay cool and keep the kids entertained. However, as every parent knows, there are some risks associated with this fun summer pastime.
With warmer weather on the horizon, now is a great time to brush up on some pool safety tips that you can use this summer.
Review And Obey The Pool Rules.
Every pool has slightly different rules that apply to it. For some, that means no diving. In other pools, you cannot bring certain pool toys. Take a few minutes to review the rules for the pool you are visiting.
If you have a pool at home that you are opening for the summer, review your pool rules with your kids. Having a set of “hard” rules can help your children and visitors stay safe around the pool. You can even have your kids help you create a sign with the rules and post it when they use the pool — that way, all friends and family members see the rules, too.
Use some of the below rules as a starting point to craft backyard pool rules for your household.
Teach Children To Walk, Not Run, Around The Pool
Pool visitors should never run or roughhouse around a swimming pool. Many pools are surrounded by slippery concrete or decking, and one wrong move could result in a slip and fall. While a fall into the pool might seem fun for older children, a fall on hard concrete could cause some severe damage.
Watch Children Closely When They Are Near Swimming Pools
Even though pools are fun and exciting, they can also be dangerous. Drowning events can happen very quickly — within a matter of seconds in some situations. More children ages one to four die from drowning compared to any other cause of death (except birth defects).
Young children and weak swimmers should remain within about arm’s reach of an adult while in the pool. Prevent unattended swimming by teaching children not to go in a pool when no adult is available to watch them.
In fact, it is a good idea to have someone watching the water, even if children are not in it. Children are attracted to pools, and it is sometimes easy for a child in a group of kids to slip away and go “test the water” on her or his own. If you are assigned as the “water watcher,” be sure it has your full attention — put away your phone and make your children’s safety a priority.
Install A Fence Around Home Pools
Home pools should be fenced in. A tall fence can help prevent neighbors and other children from attempting to use your pool without your permission or when you are not home.
As a rule, fences should be at least four feet tall, with self-closing and self-latching gates. However, many areas have local ordinances and laws regarding minimum fence requirements around home pools. Check the laws that apply to your area to ensure you comply.
Talk About Pool Safety With Your Kids
Sometimes talking about a potential danger is the best way to address it. The possibility of drowning can be upsetting, and a conversation about it can be hard, but talking about what it means and how it can happen could be invaluable. Stressing to your children the importance of having an adult nearby while playing in the water could help prevent life-threatening injuries.
Discourage Play Around Drains And Covers
Pool drains and covers can be dangerous for children, even when they are used properly. Suctions, drains, and covers may not function the way that a child would expect. They can also be very powerful and dangerous, particularly for small children who could easily be pulled into a drain area.
If you are a pool owner, be sure that you inspect your drains, covers, and other equipment to ensure they are working properly. You should, at a minimum, inspect equipment once per year, but doing a quick review every time you use the pool is a great practice.
Know How To Respond In An Emergency
Accidents happen, and when a caregiver knows how to respond properly, it could make the difference between life and death. Take the time to learn basic CPR and First Aid. Ensure that safety equipment for your home pool is available, useable, and maintained before anyone gets in the pool. Have a cell phone nearby so you can call for help if necessary. You might also want to teach children to tell an adult if one of their friends has trouble in the water.
Swimming pools are a great way to entertain the kids and share some family fun this summer. However, they can also be dangerous if certain safety measures are ignored. Use the above tips to have a safe and fun summer by the pool!
AUTHOR BIO: Hillary Rymer is VP of Marketing at Pool Troopers. Raised in Florida, Rymer grew up around swimming pools and even swam for the University of Alabama. She is passionate about pool safety providing backyard freedom to all pool owners.