It won’t be long before summer hits the USA. For all those with swimming pools in the backyard it will be time for lazy weekends by the water, and the oh so satisfying dunks after work or school.
And while a lot of fun can be had by owning a pool, there are some very important safety issues that must not be forgotten.
By following these pool safety tips you, your family and friends will have a safe and fun experience all summer long.
The Poolside Environment
Whether you have young children or not your swimming pool needs to be secured with appropriate barriers. When the children of friend or relatives come to play in the pool you will be prepared.
A 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate is essential. This should contain the pool in its entirety.
You should also own a suitable pool cover. When the pool is not in use it should covered. It is also possible to buy pool alarms that will alert you when someone is in the swimming pool.
Pool toys should be stored away when not in use so that they don’t cause a hazard. Likewise, wheeled toys should not sit around the edge of the pool for people to trip over, (or to lure a young child like the proverbial carrot).
For extra measures ensure that anyone using the pool is aware where the nearest phone is in case of an emergency.
The more layers of protection your pool has the better. This will help ensure no children or animals enter the water without your knowledge.
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Children using the pool should be accompanied by responsible (sober) adult at all times. This is whether the children are in the water or not.
Active supervision is paramount. Ensure everyone involved is aware of your pool rules and safety instructions. The main one should be no running alongside the swimming pool.
If you have installed a pool slide, you need to ensure that a chile is supervised before attempting to use it.
Diving should only be done in designated areas of the pool, (if your pool is not suitable for diving, ensure your guests know this).
If possible, users of the pool should do so with a swimming buddy as doing so alone will make things difficult in an emergency.
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The barriers we talked about in the first set of safety issues should take care of wild animal issues. However, if your pets are joining you in and around the pool, ensure that they can get out of the pool with ease.
Be aware of the ir swimming capabilities – you may think its fun to chuck your dog I the deep end, but if they are not confident swimmers the ordeal will be stressful for them.
Never allow your pets to drink water directly from the pool. The chemicals will cause them tummy upset.
Preventative Safety Measures
There is a lot you can do before anyone gets anywhere near the water.
Children are of course the main thing you need to worry about, so ensure that they know your poolside rules before they climb into their swimming gear.
Make sure the children know how to call 911 in an emergency.
If you have your own pool, make sure all your family members know how to swim. Appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses are widely available and may be a wise option for anyone that is less than confident in the water.
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Finally it is a good idea for someone in the family to learn how to perform CPR from a Red Cross certified instructor.
For more information on swimming pool safety:
American Red Cross: www.redcross.org
Poolsafely.gov: Take the Pool Safely Pledge!