There’s nothing like beating the summer heat in your own pool. While swimming pools can be a great way to stay active and enjoy the warm weather, they also come with a big responsibility. Pools can be very dangerous, especially if you have young children. Here are some of the most important swimming pool safety tips to keep your kids safe this year.
How Important Is Swimming Pool Safety?
About 60% of fatalities among young children happen in swimming pools, usually at home. Most children under 4 who drown are within the care of at least one parent at the time of the accident and about 75% of kids who drown are only out of sight for less than five minutes. Along with drowning, many swimming pool accidents involve diving injuries. Some of these injuries are caused by diving boards but most are the result of running around the pool or misjudging the distance. Practicing the following swimming pool safety tips can help you protect your family from injury or drowning while enjoying the summer weather.
1. Kids Should Be Within Arm’s Reach
A child can drown in just 10 seconds and signs of drowning aren’t always obvious. Keep young children who can’t swim within arm’s reach at all times. Never leave children unattended in or near the water, even to answer the phone.
2. Always Designate a Water Watcher
There should always be an adult designated as the Water Watcher whose only task is supervising kids in the pool. The designated watcher should not be using their phone, reading, or otherwise distracted. This is important even if you are at a public pool with a lifeguard.
3. Teach Kids to Avoid Pool Drains
Swimming pool drains are very dangerous and there have been far too many tragic accidents involving them. Make sure that your pool drain has an anti-entrapment cover–it actually became a law in 2008. To be extra cautious, teach your children to never swim or play near a pool drain or suction outlet. Hair, bathing suits, fingers, and jewelry can get caught in these openings and lead to accidental drowning. The risk is highest in shallow pools and spas.
4. Teach Kids to Swim
Learning to swim doesn’t just teach your children a fun hobby, it’s also a lifesaving skill. You can enroll your children in local swimming lessons at swim schools, a YMCA, a USA Swimming chapter, or through your local Parks Department.
5. Install a Pool Fence
A fence around your pool is the single best way to keep children and pets from getting into the water without supervision. Most states also require appropriate fences around in-ground pools. A barrier works by giving you time to find your child if they slip out of sight of supervision. The fence should be at least 4 feet high with door alarms on all doors that lead to the pool. Choose doors with a self-latching device or a lock to prevent children from gaining access.
6. Add a Pool Cover During the Off-Season
When your spa or pool isn’t in use, place a safety cover over it and remove any ladders into the pool. These covers keep water and debris out of the pool during the off-season but they can also keep kids from falling into the pool. A mesh pool cover is the most budget-friendly choice but a solid safety cover keeps any water from seeping into the pool.
7. Have Clear Rules
Most home pools are not designed for diving. Institute a feet-first policy for your pool and instruct kids and guests to not attempt to dive into the pool head-first. You should also establish other swimming pool safety rules that should always be enforced around the pool such as no running and no breath-holding contests.
8. Learn How to Perform CPR
In case of an emergency, make sure someone supervising knows how to perform CPR. You can take CPR classes through the American Red Cross or a local hospital or community center to learn this lifesaving skill.
A.I.M. Real Estate Inspections wishes you a safe and fun summer. We offer home and commercial property inspections to Greater San Antonio, including pool and spa inspections. We will inspect your pool for safety and proper functionality. Contact us to book any of our services.