Swimming pool safety refers to everything from the equipment being used to keep the pool area safe to how everyone behaves in and around the pool. With proper safety measure taken you will reduce your risk of potential dangers in and around your swimming pool.
Swimming Pool Supervision
The best way to prevent injuries and accidents is with supervision. It's important to pay attention at all times when people are in the pool. Not only do you need to pay attention when children are in the water, but in party situations, look out for any intoxicated individuals who could fall in.
Learn to Swim
Making sure the family's swimming skills are good can be important for pool safety. Even after your kids have learned how to swim, they still need supervision and big kids shouldn't be left to swim alone. Until kids build up swimming skills, some extra help in the pool, such as arm floaties or an inflatable vest, can be beneficial for extra buoyancy. Swimming pools don't leave much room for error when it comes to kids, so it's always better to err on the side of caution.
Establishing rules is for everyone's safety. For example, kids need to learn why it's dangerous to run around on the pool deck. Not all toys may be used in the pool. Be sure that anyone who uses your pool is aware of the rules and remind yourself that everyone will need reminders from time to time about the rules. Clear and consistent rules will help everyone to know what the expectations are prior to jumping in!
Secure Your Pool When Not in Use
One big tip for pool safety is to secure the pool when you aren't using it.
Fences: Surround the pool with four-sided isolation fencing with a self-latching and self-closing gate that a child can’t reach. A four-sided isolation fence can reduce a child's risk of drowning by up to 83%. Fences can help keep critters out and small children from wandering into the pool area.
Alarms: Installing a fence is only half the battle. It’s easy for kids to figure out how to open gates and find their way into the pool area. A gate alarm can sound when the connection between the gate and fence is broken. You can also take it a step further by installing an alarm on the door that leads to the pool area. This gives you time before your child even reaches the pool. The last line of defense can be a pool alarm, which will sound if there is movement in the water detected. The age of your kids, location and desires will all have an impact on which of these you will need to install.
Pool Covers: If you want a barrier for when no one will actually need access to the pool, consider a pool cover. There are many different kinds of pool covers and if you are looking for safety, make sure you pick the right one. Solar pool covers are more for heating the pool and won’t withstand a pet's or your kid's weight. Mesh covers can still hold the weight and let sunlight into your pool along with water. Solid covers don’t allow any dirt in your pool and while you may think a solid cover is safer, it can pool water in the middle of the cover. This makes removing the cover dangerous and it can also pose a drowning hazard, which is what you are trying to prevent with pool safety.
What to Use in the Pool
There is some pool safety equipment you want to have when the pool is in use.
Float Lines: Stretch the line across the water from side to side and if anyone has trouble staying afloat, they can hold on to the line. Consider more lines to have one for the shallow end and one for the deep end.
Life Preserver: If someone is having trouble, you can toss a life preserver to help him or her stay afloat.
Pool Safety Hook: Just like a life preserver, a pool safety hook can give someone struggling something to hold onto and keep them from going under the water. A pool hook can also be helpful for pulling small animals from the water when they need help escaping.
Critter Escape Ramp: It’s no fun to retrieve animals from your pool. A small critter can be pulled into the filtration system and cause a blockage and damage your equipment. You can help animals get out of your pool by placing escape ramps around the perimeter of the pool.
Pool Toys: Only use toys that are designed for the pool. Makeshift volleyball or basketball sets that are not designed for pool use can be dangerous. Look instead for pool volleyball or pool basketball sets that are designed specifically for the swimming pool.
By following some basic rules you can have some peace of mind when it comes to having a swimming pool in your backyard.
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