Pool noodle? Check! Sunscreen? Check! Sounds like you’re ready to enjoy summer and with that comes the fun of swimming. If you’re one of the lucky homeowners that has a pool in your back yard, then you get to enjoy endless summer fun every day of the week. But first – did you know that over 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year? As easy as it is to put on sunscreen and suit up for the pool, it’s just as easy to learn about pool safety and the steps to take to create a safe environment for your home pool.
Make sure that everyone in your household knows and understands the following guidelines below from American Red Cross to make your back yard a safe place for swimming all summer long.
1. Pool Barriers and Covers
If you do not have a gate around your pool, consider adding one for extra security so youngsters or pets don’t feel tempted to walk close to the pool when adults are not around to supervise. It is recommended to completely surround your pool with a 4-foot high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. You can even go a step further and place a cover over your pool or hot tub, along with adding a pool alarm that alerts you if anyone falls into the water.
2. Maintain Your Pool
Keep the water in your pool or hot tub clear; maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. By regularly testing the chemical levels in your pool, you greatly minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or other serious diseases that can occur from untreated water.
3. Family Checklist
- Does everyone in your home know how to swim? No matter the age, the Red Cross offers age-appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses. Enroll yourself or family members in a swim course to get the basics down. Also, because not everyone knows how to swim, your new skills may help to save a life one day! If you do have inexperienced swimmers at your home for a swim, keep a life jacket handy for their use.
- If you have children in your household, this is a biggie – ALWAYS make sure children are under active adult supervision at all times while in the pool. It only takes a second for an accident to happen. If you have young children, keep them within an arm’s reach while swimming.
- Set up pool rules for your family to follow and enforce them. Some ideas for rules could include: Never swim alone, no diving, stay away from drain covers, etc.
- Make certain that all members of your household know how to respond to a swimming emergency. Have appropriate safety equipment around the pool and instruct everyone on how to use and where these items will be located. Further educate yourself by taking a first aid and CPR course from the Red Cross.
With all this pool safety knowledge, what steps do you plan to take to keep your pool safe this summer?