Pools are a great addition to any home and a wonderful way to bring families together for fun activities. But one of the fears of any homeowner with a pool is the possible dangers associated with water safety. That is why it is important to look at a variety of pool safety tips and to institute a plan for maintaining a safe and orderly area around and in your pool.
- The first rule of family water safety is to make sure that everyone in the family knows how to swim. Children should be taught as early as one year of age, but even once they have learned how to swim, they should not be considered experts. Anyone can still have an accident, even if they know how to swim, so don’t leave your child unattended, even if you think of them as expert swimmers.
- Almost equally important is that no child should ever be left unsupervised around water. It only takes a moment for a child to slip under the water and that is why most experts agree that children should always be close enough for you to reach out and touch. Even though you may think that sitting by the pool is close enough, you should actually be in the pool with the kids to make sure that they stay safe.
- Pool areas should be kept clean and free from toys. It is dangerous for children to be walking around a pool with potential hazards that might trip them up and send them headfirst into the water unexpectedly.
- Pools should be surrounded with a fence that is a minimum of five-feet high. Pools are always attractive to children and it may be that your child will try to slip out and go swimming alone when you are not able to supervise. But an interior fence surrounding the pool itself (featuring a self-latching gate) will keep children from entering this area. This will also prevent kids from your neighborhood trying to come over when you are not home to use your pool, which can be a safety hazard and a liability for you as well.
- Although rescue equipment should be kept handy at all times, it is important to realize that floats and water wings are considered toys and not lifesaving devices. Children who are not comfortable with swimming should wear a life-vest or some other device for added security.
- Finally, in the event that something does go wrong, you should always be prepared. A first aid kit and emergency numbers should be kept near the pool. In addition, contact local groups such as the American Red Cross to find out about CPR courses (including infant CPR) that will be invaluable in the event of an accident.
These are just a few tips to making sure that your time by the pool is happy and safe. Pools are great fun, but they can be dangerous if you are not careful. Follow these tips and you will be prepared for a fun time swimming with your family.