With a home swimming pool comes two responsibilities, regular maintenance, and responsible pool safety. While a failure to meet the first requirement will result in nothing more than an expensive repair bill, a failure to meet the second can easily wind up in tragedy.
Each year, over 200 American children drown, not in seas or lakes, but in backyard swimming pools. And if you don’t want to contribute to this statistic, both an understanding and a commitment to basic pool safety principles is very much required.
Here are eight straightforward tips for keeping your swimming pool safe this Summer.
The first step towards safe Summer swimming is arguably the most important on the list; don’t let children swim unsupervised. This might sound obvious but if you’re confident in a child’s ability to swim, it’s an easy mistake to make.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how well a child can swim or how experienced they are in the water, accidents happen. And if an accident happens in your pool, there needs to be a capable adult around to do something about it.
Understand what Supervision Means
Don’t mistake adults standing close by with adult supervision. According to a recent report from the National Centre for Injury Prevention and Control, 88% of young drowning victims were under some kind of adult supervision at the time of their death.
That same report also stated that in a shocking 46% of cases, not one, but both parents of the drowning victim were present. These statistics should make it clear that when you’re supervising a child, your eyes need to be on them literally at all times.
Know What to Do In Case of Emergency
Needless to say, adult supervision isn’t worth much if the adult in question doesn’t know what to do in the case of an emergency. If you want to keep a swimming pool in your backyard, it’s your responsibility to both know how to swim and know how to perform basic CPR.
CPR courses are cheap, widely available and very much a requirement of responsible pool ownership.
Teach Your Children to Swim as Early as Possible
If you have children of your own, get them enrolled in swimming classes as early as possible. Most parents are surprised to learn that it’s possible to find basic classes for children as young as one years old.
Such classes teach babies how to roll and float on their backside if they come in contact with deep water.
Keep an Emergency Kit Close By
Create a small emergency kit and keep it close to your pool at all times. Creating an emergency kit will take you all of two hours shopping but it will protect those that use your pool for many years to come.
Your emergency kit should include:
- A first aid kit.
- A charged portable phone.
- A flotation device.
- A sharp scissors (to cut clothing or hair if caught in the pool).
Watch Out for Drains
Speaking of hair and clothes getting caught in your swimming pool, this occurs when children swim too closely to pipes, drains and other openings. The risk of this occurring can be greatly mitigated by simply doing two things.
First off, educate the children that use your pool about the genuine dangers that such fixtures pose. And secondly, ensure that such fixtures are both properly maintained and covered where necessary.
Enforce Safety Rules
Nobody likes to be a killjoy on a warm Summers day but it’s important to both set and enforces rules for your swimming pool. Running next to the pool, diving anywhere but the deep end and dunking should all be forbidden.
Such activities might seem relatively harmless at the time but unfortunately, they greatly increase the odds of something going wrong.
Guard Your Pool When Not in Use
Finally, it’s important to realize that just because you don’t want to go swimming today, that doesn’t mean that a child in your home isn’t going to have other ideas. An unguarded pool is one of the most dangerous things that you can install in a home populated by children.
Derek Tyler, author of this post, works for one of the leading swimming pool companies in Greenwich, CT. Being an avid reader, in his spare time, he likes to read novels.