Here’s a statistic for you: from 2005-2014, there was an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. An additional 332 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents. About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger. If you have a backyard pool in your outdoor living area, you’ll want to pay attention to pool safety. At Improvements, we have some tips on how to make your pool area safer year-round.
How To Make Your Pool Area Safe
When it comes to pool safety, you can never be too careful, especially if you have kids. Remember, most of them love water and will go toward it. And, it only takes a second for an accident to happen. So, never turn your back on young children because the consequences may be fatal. Even if you only use your pool a few months out of the year, it’s highly important to practice pool safety. And quite frankly, you should review your swimming pool area year-round to ensure that it’s as safe and secure as it can be. With this in mind, let’s dive into a few pool safety tips that can help you create and maintain a safe environment.
Know How to Perform CPR and First-Aid
Learning first-aid and how to perform CPR could save many lives. You can take classes at your local Red Cross, Amerian Heart Association training center, hospitals, community centers, and adult career centers. You may want to ask your employer if they offer classes because some will hire an instructor as part of their crisis/emergency preparedness training. Keep in mind that you’ll have to keep up your certifications.
Establish and Enforce Pool Safety Rules
Pool safety includes having rules, and one of the first rules you could have is to make sure everyone in your family knows how to swim. It’s never too early or late to learn. Adults and kids can take lessons at a rec center. You can even enroll kids in “learn-to-swim” classes from the Red Cross. Other pool safety rules may include:
- No running in the pool area.
- No diving into the swimming pool.
- Splashing and dunking are not allowed.
- Always swim with a buddy.
- Stay away drain covers.
- Always have one or more adult in the pool area.
- Do not touch the pool cover if it’s covering the swimming pool.
- Remove pool toys or pool games near or in the swimming pool that may attract a child.
- Do not keep climbable objects near the pool fence.
- Keep an eye on pets that may in the pool area or do not allow them in it.
Of course, the above is only a sample of pool safety rules. You can add whatever you’d like to the list.
Keep First-Aid and Other Pool Essentials Nearby
Having a backyard pool can be a lot of fun, especially on hot summer days. After all, jumping in and swimming a few laps is a great way to cool off. And even though you may be excited to open your pool, make sure to keep the following nearby when you and your family use your swimming pool:
- First-aid kit
- Cell phone (keep it charged with a charging station)
- Flotation device
- Extra towels
- Scissors to cut clothing, hair, or a pool cover
Keeping these and other pool safety essentials near you at all times is a must when you have a swimming pool.
Always Watch Children
It can’t be stressed enough that young children need to be supervised! You may think that you can turn your back for a second, but that’s all it takes for an accident to happen. If you’re home alone with young kids and one of them needs to go indoors, for example, to use the bathroom, take ALL of them with you. Do not leave anyone behind! If you can, have more than adult in your pool area to help watch the kids.
Invest in Pool Safety Equipment
It’s important to have backyard pool safety equipment because you never know when you’ll need it. For instance, you should have a lifesaver with a rope. This way you can toss it to whoever is in the pool and pull them to safety. Believe it or not, a safety hook with an extension pole can be used as an emergency response. It’s lightweight and can be used to help someone who’s drowning or struggling to swim. You may even consider installing alarms on windows and doors that lead to the swimming pool area. This way you’ll know that someone is outside and check to see who it is.
Install a Fence Around Your Swimming Pool
Whether you have an above ground or inground swimming pool, it will need to have a fence around it. According to the CPSC (Consumer Product and Safety Commission), a pool fence should be at least 48″ inches high with a self-closing, self-latching, child-resistant gate. Keep in mind that each city has different requirements, so you’ll have to inquire with your local government as to the appropriate height. Keep in mind that you’ll need a permit, which may cost $110 or more (pool and electric), depending on your location.
Use a Pool Cover
Just as you would install a fence around your backyard pool, you may consider installing a pool safety cover on your above ground or inground pool. Covers come in different sizes and colors such as green, blue, black, grey, or tan to complement your home’s decor. It’s essential to have a safety cover during the off-season months and will be a wise investment.
Don’t Take Pool Safety for Granted
If you have a swimming pool or even go to a public pool, make sure you pay attention to pool safety. Don’t run because you may slip and fall. Always supervise children, especially young ones. Winterize your backyard pool by putting a safety cover on it and making sure the fence around it is in good shape. Learn first-aid and how to perform CPR because you may save multiple lives. If you have a pool party, enforce your pool safety rules!
While having a swimming pool is a luxury, it’s a significant responsibility (pool maintenance is a must), one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Each year, make sure your pool area is safe and secure so that you can lessen the chance of accidents happening. Following safety guidelines cannot only save your life but the lives of others as well, including your pets!
If you have any pool safety tips, we’d love to know about them. Leave a comment below and let’s keep the conversation going.