Summer and swimming go hand-in-hand. There’s nothing that sounds better on a sweltering hot day than to take a refreshing swim in the pool, and it’s great to invite friends and family over to enjoy a dip in yours. Pool safety, however, should always be at the forefront of a pool
owner’s mind. According to the CDC, about 4,000 people per year die in a drowning accident each year. Here are some safety precautions you can take to protect your family and your guests while still enjoying the pool this summer.
Although there’s no federal pool-fence law, a number of cities and states have enacted laws that detail fence requirements for pools, and a pool fence is the most recommended safety measure that a homeowner can put into place. The fence creates a barrier that keeps children out of your pool when you are not there to supervise their activity.
Many swimming classes are offered year-round at local gyms and community centers. While knowing how to swim doesn’t completely protect a person from drowning, it is a survival skill that can help. However, always impress upon your children that learning to swim does not mean they don’t need an adult’s supervision. Make sure they understand that they are not to go in the water without an adult present and aware of what they are doing.
For an additional level of protection to keep kids out of the water when you are not there to supervise them, install an alarm. When gates to the pool are opened, the alarm will notify you when someone is accessing your pool. Another option is an underwater swimming pool alarm system which uses motion sensors to detect wave activity and alert you when anyone is in the water.
Keep a life ring, rescue tube, or life hook within easy reach of the pool so that it can be quickly accessed to pull someone from the water to safety. Don’t forget to check it regularly to ensure the items are in good condition. It’s also a good idea to keep a first aid kit handy that is fully stocked.
An adult or child can trip on pool toys, floats, and cleaning equipment if these items are left by the edge of a pool. Make sure floats, tubes, toys and cleaning equipment are stored away from the water when they’re not in use.
After a 7-year-old girl drowned because of the suction pressure from an underwater drain in a hot tub, Congress passed the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act in 2007 to provide basic safety standards for the nation’s public pools. Although the law doesn’t apply to residential pools, don’t put your family or your guests at risk. Check your drain covers. They should always be rounded covers in good condition, with no cracks or missing screws.
It’s a no-brainer that any pool owner should be trained in CPR. Organizations like the American Red Cross, your local fire department, and hospitals offer CPR certification courses. Your local community center may also offer training and certification classes. Consider enrolling your kids, as well. It’s worth the small investment of time and money to be able to save a life.
Rules don’t sound like fun, but it’s no fun to get hurt! Make sure your guests know to follow these rules:
● Don’t run on the pool patio or deck area
● No diving into shallow water
● Don’t push anyone into the pool
● No swimming without an adult present
● Don’t hold or dunk anyone underwater
With these tips in mind, your summer should go swimmingly. Enjoy your pool and enjoy your summer!