Stay Safe In And Around Swimming Pools This Summer
If you’re fortunate enough to own a swimming pool, or will be in and around one this summer, it’s always important to be aware of good safety practices.
Fortunately, the American Red Cross has recognized the risks and has a web page dedicated to pool and hot tub safety.
While you are definitely advised to read the above in detail, here’s a handy summary of the key points raised.
When the pool’s not in use:
- Surround the pool on all sides with isolation and fencing, separating the pool area from the house and yard, with a self-closing/self-latching gate out of the reach of young kids. This kind of four-sided fence reduces a child’s risk of drowning, in comparison with three-sided property line fencing.
- Secure, lock or remove steps, ladders and other items facilitating access to above-ground pools whenever the pool is not being actively adult supervised.
- Install secondary barriers such as alarms and locks that are out of the reach of children on doors and windows with direct pool/spa access.
- Use lockable covers.
Safe behaviors to deploy and enforce:
- Never enter a pool head first without a safe diving area.
- Keep away from suction-creating drains/other openings.
- Try not to swim alone when not supervised by a water watcher.
- Swim sober and stay sober when supervising others.
- Don’t be distracted by reading or cell phone use.
Safety measures in water:
- Make sure there are protective layers and barriers preventing free access to water, as well as life jackets and close child supervision to prevent drowning.
- Every family member using the pool needs to learn to swim and achieve a level of water competency that means they are able to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance and finally get out of the water.
- Create a water emergency plan that includes how to help someone in trouble in the water, calling emergency services and CPR.
Around the pool:
- Eliminate any tripping/slipping hazards around the pool to avoid injury risks from a fall either into the water or poolside.
- Good quality night lighting is an important consideration.
- We hope these guidelines help you to enhance your current safety arrangements. Have fun and please stay safe.