Having fun and relaxing in your backyard pool is one of the pleasures of the warm weather season. But, an accident can bring all of that joy to an end. Pool safety is something that you should have on your mind at all times. Here are 7 tips for keeping your backyard pool a safe environment for everyone.
Tip #1: Always be close to children
When there are children in the pool, never be farther than arm’s length. You need to be close enough to be able to reach them in the event there is an accident. Drowning can occur in as little as 10 seconds. Don’t get distracted by other things like texting or talking on the phone, cooking on the grill, or whatever. Keep your attention on the pool to make sure that everyone stays happy and safe.
Tip #2: Limit the number of inflatables
Inflatables are a lot of fun for children and adults but use them wisely. Too many inflatables in the pool at one time can obstruct your view of all the swimmers in the pool. Stay alert because inflatable toys can overturn easily. Always remove the inflatables when you aren’t using them. Keeping them in the pool can be too tempting for young children to reach in and try to get, causing a fall.
Tip #3: Teach children how to swim
Swimming is a lifesaving skill. Enroll your children in swimming lessons early, and encourage their friends to also learn to swim. Work with young children who are learning so you reinforce through supervised practice.
Tip #4: Teach children to stay away from drains
Do not let children play or swim near drains or suction outlets. This is especially important in spas and shallow pools. And, never enter a pool or spa that has a loose, broken, or missing drain cover. Children’s bathing suits, hair, and limbs can get stuck in a drain and cause drowning. Always know where the emergency vacuum shutoff is before getting into the water.
Establish rules for pool safety with the family and make sure that your visitors are aware of them. It is a good idea to post your pool safety rules in a visible location for family and friends to refer to. For example, since most backyard pools are too shallow for diving, one rule would be to always go in feet first and no diving.
Tip #6: Install a fence
Ensure that you have a secure fence installed around your pool, preferably one with a self-locking gate. If you have any sliding doors that enter directly onto a pool deck, install a door alarm to alert you if a little one enters the pool deck alone.
Tip #7: Never swim alone
Anything can happen anytime. It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced adult swimmer, emergency situations can occur with a cramp or heart attack. Be sure someone else is at home or, at the very least, knows you are in the pool. And, never let children in the pool alone.