As summer approaches many of us are anxiously anticipating long lazy days enjoying our backyard pools. Nothing can be better than splashing with the kids and soaking up some sun. But, those wonderful experiences can turn to tragedy in the blink of an eye. According to the Red Cross, nearly 300 drownings occur each year, not to mention over 3000 injuries. The worst part is, the majority of the victims are 1-2 years old. Accidental drownings are tragically the number one cause of unintentional deaths for children under the age of 4.
Not to be a Debbie downer but the bottom line is- pools require special attention.
However, with some planning and intention, your source of summer fun can be just that…fun! With the whole family on board, everyone will fill their summers with precious poolside memories. We have compiled a list of our top recommendations to keep your pool safe.
- Install a fence or barrier that is at least 4 ft. in height and includes a self-latching gate.
- Always place a safety cover on your pool or spa when it is not in use. Also, all steps and ladders should be removed.
- Consider installing an alarm that will alert an adult when someone has entered the pool area.
- Actively supervise children at all times. Unfortunately, napping or reading does not count. You must be completely engaged in the task at hand.
- Young and new swimmers should wear a high-quality life vest.
- Swimming lessons are a must.
- Keep water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels and circulation. Replace pool water regularly. All of these efforts will increase visibility and decrease the chances of rashes and/ or ear infections.
- Clearly establish and enforce pool rules such as no diving, no swimming alone, and stay away from drain covers.
- Have appropriate safety equipment on hand including a first aid kit, scissors (to cut trapped hair or clothing), a charged telephone and a floatation device.
- Adults and teenagers should consider a first-aid and/ or CPR class.
- Use anti-entrapment drain devices that are compliant with The Pool and Spa Safety Act.
- Empty and put away portable pools after every use.
- Make sure neighbors, babysitters, and visitors know that you have a pool.
How many of these steps should you take? All of them. Every little effort towards pool safety puts you one step closer to saving a life. The good news is, all of these actions are relatively easy and most importantly will keep you and your family safely enjoying your pool for years to come!
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