The hot, sunny weather means that it’s finally time for summer pool parties and days spent lounging next to the water. A pool is a great addition to any home– it makes entertaining and hosting infinitely more fun, it’s a great way to occupy your children throughout the entire season, and there’s no better way to relax after a long day than a quick, refreshing dip. Pools are great fun, but they can also be very dangerous. A normal day of swimming can be derailed by a tragic accident, and these potentially fatal incidents are almost completely preventable with proper pool safety. This is not the area of your home to be lax about rules and safety precautions, particularly if you have young children or weak swimmers in your home. Here are some of the main points to remember about keeping your pool safe this summer.
Install Proper Safety Fences
In most cases it’s legally required for any pool that is partially or completely submerged to be enclosed by a fence. Above ground pools typically also have fence requirements as well that can vary based on depth. Whatever kind of pool you have, setting up a fence around it is always a wise choice to help keep out unsupervised swimmers.
Make Strict Pool Rules
No matter how much you want to protect your kids from the less pleasant things in this world, hard conversations are often necessary, so it’s important to have a serious talk with your children about how even though pools are fun, they can be really dangerous. Impress on your children the importance of the pool rules such as no running, no pushing, and no going in the pool without an adult, and don’t be scared to revoke pool privileges for a stretch of time if the rules are broken. A kid who respects the pool rules is a much safer kid.
Never Leave Children or Weak Swimmers Alone Outside
Even with a fence and well-established rules, you need to prevent accidents by never leaving small children or anyone who doesn’t swim well alone outside. This is especially true for your little ones, because no matter how much you instill in them the importance of waiting for you to be watching, their curiosity can and will drive them to investigate the water. Even if your kids rarely push their boundaries, whenever they go outside, make sure you accompany them to supervise. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Designate Water Watchers
If you have a large group of people over or just have more than one adult outside while the pool is in use, you might think that you have a built in protection against water accidents and don’t need to indicate who’s watching the pool at any given time. However, remember that if everyone is watching, no one is watching, and an accidental drowning can occur quickly and quietly, even in a seemingly safe situation with multiple people around. Take lifeguard duty very seriously, and always have one designated person whose job it is to be attentively watching the swimmers. You can even trade off and work in shifts!
Insist on Swimming Lessons and Water Safety Courses
Swim lessons are a good idea for small children no matter your situation, but if you have a pool at your home they should be treated as an absolute necessity. There’s pretty much no age that’s too old or too young for swimming lessons, and having these skills can prevent potentially dangerous situations. It’s also a good idea for all of the adults in the house to take water safety courses where you learn about warning signs of drownings, water rescue, and CPR and other emergency procedures. Ideally you’ll never need these skills, but if the day comes that you do, you’ll be glad you took the time to learn them!
With these rules and tips, you and your family should be able to enjoy a safe and fun summer spent by the pool! Stay safe out there, and enjoy!