As fun as your pool may be, you need to remember that it comes with responsibilities. Accidental drownings occur too often, so pool safety needs to be a priority. Supervision is always the best safety method, but the more you do in terms of equipment and precautions, the safer your family will be. Keeping your pool safe will prevent injuries and give you peace of mind, so everyone can enjoy the pool all season long.
If you have any first-time swimmers in the house, it is a good idea to invest in swimming as well as lifeguard lessons. Local pools offer classes that can help your new swimmers to gain confidence and can teach you life-saving skills. It is also essential to enforce a rule of mandatory supervision. If an adult is not at the pool, then nobody swims. Once this is an established rule, there will be no temptation to swim when you are away.
You should get a pool safety fence installed. The fence needs to be at least 4 feet in height and all slat or gaps need to be small enough that hands and feet can not fit through. You want to prevent any climbing as well as fitting through the slats. Along with the fence, you should install an alarm that notifies you when anyone enters the pool. Make sure your children know where the deep end is and where it is safe to dive. They need to be able to differentiate between the changing levels of water. It is also important to prohibit all food from being near or in the pool as eating can cause a choking hazard. This includes chewing gum too. Outside of water safety, you should also be safe when it comes to sun exposure and keep sunscreen on your children at all times when they are outdoors.
The fence and gate will protect your children as well as your pets. Not all pool covers are the same and some can be easily manipulated. Pets may not be able to tell if the cover is sturdy enough and walk or run across them. You should also never assume that your pets can swim. Even if they do swim, falling in can cause shock which can lead to drowning. Teach your pets how to get in and out of the pool safely. They can easily enter and get out using a ramp or steps. You need to makes sure they are comfortable doing this so that in your absence, they can safely get out of the water if they fall in. Again pool covers may not always be sturdy enough to hold a pet’s weight, and if they fall in they will be shocked, so you should have a fence as well as any pool cover.
As previously mentioned, sunscreen needs to be applied to your children any time they are outdoors. Too much sun exposure can cause skin cancer in both children and adults. When you are not in the pool, you should wear protective clothing, preferably long sleeves and hats. When at all possible, sit in shaded areas or under an umbrella.
There are certain times of the day where the sun is more dangerous, and you can check with local UV Indexes to determine when those times are. When high or very high ratings are given, those are the times you should be indoors or limit your time outdoors to no more than 15 or 20 minutes. Being in the pool may feel nice and cool, but you are not protected from the sun’s rays, so being indoors is the safest option.
Your pool is supposed to be fun for the whole family. Fun can be guaranteed so long as safety is the top priority. Prevent accidents and injuries by following the safety guide above so you can enjoy peace of mind, and your family can enjoy the pool all season long.