A swimming pool can provide countless hours of fun, excitement and relaxation. However, it can also present certain dangers. According to the American Red Cross, more than 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year. We’ve put together this list of water safety tips to hopefully prevent tragedy and heartache. Our goal is to help you protect your family and friends by using these swimming pool safety tips.
Teach Children Water Safety
Some things are instinctive. Water safety isn’t one of them. Kids are drawn to water. Therefore, children have to be taught to respect the water and educated about pool safety tips. What should these water safety lessons cover?
- Children who will spend any time near the water should have age-appropriate swimming lessons that include treading water, floating and basic pool safety tips. Check out the swim lessons at the YMCA.
- Children should know to swim only in designated areas and with adult supervision.
Secure the Pool Area
Even when they’ve been warned, children often underestimate potential hazards. Even though it’s your intention to keep kids out of the pool, sometimes they are determined. Therefore, it’s best to secure your swimming pool to prevent unsupervised access.
- A pool screen enclosure separates the pool area from the rest of the yard. It creates clear boundaries lines and discouraging intrusion from outside guests.
- A pool safety fence is another way to create a barrier around your pool. These fences should be at least 4 feet tall, have gaps of less than 4 inches between their slats and be difficult to climb.
- A self-closing, self-latching gate that opens away from the pool should guard the entrance to the pool area. The latch should be beyond the reach of small children.
- Alarms that sound whenever the pool area is accessed can provide a secondary line of defense and help prevent a tragedy.
When it comes to staying safe while swimming, there really is no substitute for supervision. When supervising children near a swimming pool:
- A responsible adult must be actively watching at all times. Multitasking and distractions should be avoided.
- An adult should remain within arm’s reach of infants and toddlers.
- Never rely on floats, pool noodles or flotation devices as a safety precaution.
- Remind swimmers about safety tips and take action to correct any dangerous behaviors promptly.
Be a Role Model for Pool Safety
Children learn what they see, so one of the best ways to teach them to take swimming pool safety seriously is to demonstrate that you do. Everyone who uses your pool will be safer if you:
- Create a list of rules for using the pool that prohibits unsafe behaviors like running, swimming alone, playing around drain covers or diving in an inappropriate place. Review this list frequently and enforce the rules.
- Keep water safety equipment like poles and flotation rings handy and make sure that everyone knows how to use it.
- Learn CPR and encourage other families to learn CPR.
- Keep a phone handy so that you can call for help quickly in the event of an emergency.
Our goal is to keep your family safe while having fun. If we can save one life by posting this article, then we are fulfilled. Please talk to your kids about pool safety tips. Our heart breaks each time we see a news bulletin about a child drowning in a pool. If you need help with a screen enclosure or pool fence, please give us a call. Have a fun and safe swimming season. May all who enjoy your pool be safe.