Swimming Pool Safety Tips
by Rachaelle Lynn
Online Marketing Manager for PoolGearPlus.com
Backyard swimming pools provide hours of fun for owners and their family and friends. They can also be used for parties or beautifully decorated for entertaining. But while enjoying your swimming pool, it’s important to put safety first, for children and adults (as you read this article, keep in mind that there is no substitute for adult supervision around swimming pools where children are concerned). Here are some guidelines for ensuring that your swimming pool is a safe place for you and your loved ones to enjoy.
- Make swimming pool safety a family affair. Everyone in the household should have a complete understanding of pool safety rules and emergency procedures and should strictly adhere to them. Children should be aware that they must never approach the pool, even while playing outside of it, without an adult present. Make sure at least one family member is CPR-certified, and always keep a cordless phone or cellphone poolside.
- Use the buddy system. Never swim without a partner. Even an experienced swimmer, of any age, can suffer a muscle cramp, get injured from playing too roughly, or become too exhausted to swim. When swimming with a child or watching a child play in the pool, maintain visual contact.
- Keep a life hook and ring bouy poolside. These tools, used by lifeguards at public swimming pools, are helpful in an emergency. A float line also contributes to a safer pool by indicating deepening water and in the event that someone becomes fatigued while swimming or playing in the pool.
- Use depth markers to clearly indicate the depth of the water. Let smaller children and those who are inexperienced swimmers know what number is the boundary that makes the rest of the pool off-limits.
- Invest in a pool safety alarm. There are several types of alarms to consider. A pool alarm, available for in-ground and above-ground pools, hangs over the side of the pool and has an electronic sensor that triggers a loud noise when anything over a certain weight (typically 15 pounds) breaks the surface of the water. Gate, door, and slider alarms alert you when a protected entrance to the pool area is breached or was accidentally left open. Wristband safety alarms are worn by children to protect them from falling into the pool undetected. A base station sounds an alarm when the wristband is immersed in water. Remember, alarms aren’t substitutes for vigilance; they simply provide another layer of protection.
- Fence in your pool area and keep gates locked. Check state regulations, your homeowner’s insurance policy, and/or your homeowner’s association for swimming pool fencing rules.
- Get out of the water immediately if a storm approaches. The beauty of having a swimming pool in one’s backyard is that you can use it again later. Don’t take chances if you see evidence of an approaching storm.
- Keep pool chemicals locked up away from the water. Never allow children to enter the pool chemical storage area. Provide training to any adult family members who assist you with pool maintenance.
Remember, no matter how many safeguards you put into place, there’s never a substitute for adult supervision when it comes to backyard swimming pools. Never allow children to play in or around
your swimming pool without close supervision.
Swimming Pool Safety Links
- Swimming Pool Safety
Swimming pool safety tips from HealthyChildren.org
- Pool and Spa Safety Publications
Pool and spa safety publications from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Pool Safely
Learn to stay safe around swimming pools and spas. Children and families can use tips from the Pool and Spa Safety Act to prevent drownings and other water-related mishaps.
Reprinted with permission