Your pool is one of your home’s best features, especially in the summer. But in spite of their perks, pools and hot tubs also pose safety risks, especially to young children. Following a few simple safety tips will ensure you enjoy your pool to the fullest and avoid accidents this summer.
When Your Pool Is Not in Use
When you aren’t using your pool, follow these guidelines:
- Secure your pool or hot tub with a four-foot-high barrier. A fence or a self-closing gate with a latch is best. Make sure the latch is closed completely and locked when you’re outside the pool area.
- Cover the pool. A hard cover on the pool will keep anyone from falling into the water or trying to swim without supervision. Similarly, remove ladders or steps that make it easy to climb into the pool.
- Install an alarm or a video surveillance system around your pool. Depending on the alarm system you choose, you can set up notifications when you’re away from home—the system will notify you by text, call, or email if it detects motion in the pool area.
- Keep lawn chairs and tables away from the fence. If chairs and tables are positioned too near the fence, kids can use them to climb over the barrier.
- Teach your kids how to swim. Accidents and injuries happen even to the best swimmers, but knowing how to swim drastically minimizes your chances of drowning. Before you let them use your family pool, enroll your young children in swimming classes.
- Establish clear rules. All children should know not to enter the pool area without an adult present. Other rules might include never swimming alone, staying away from drain covers, never running near the pool, and never diving into the water.
When Your Pool Is in Use
While you’re making the most of your pool this summer, keep these guidelines in mind:
- Supervise children at all times. Children should always be within arm’s reach of an adult. You can also designate one person to watch the water while other adults relax around the poolside.
- Establish a buddy system. Never allow anyone to swim alone.
- Keep water clear so you can always see swimmers beneath the water. Maintain proper chemical levels and ensure your filters and circulation systems work perfectly.
- Store lifesaving equipment nearby. Keep a shepherd’s hook and lifesaving ring at the poolside. All adults should know how to properly use the equipment in an emergency.
- Pay attention. When you’re supervising children at the pool, minimize distractions. If you’re the designated supervisor for young swimmers, don’t read, talk on the phone, or get distracted by chatting with another adult. Keep an eye on the kids at all times.
Swimming can be a great way for the entire family to relax and have some fun in the sun this summer. Follow these tips, and you’ll ensure everyone has a safe time. If you have additional tips for pool safety, we’d love to hear them in the comments!