Summer is here and it is time to break out the grills and the swim suits for some summer fun around the family pool. Keep in mind that having a pool comes with great responsibility. Pools can be wonderful places for entertaining and relaxing during the summer months, but they can also be deadly. That is why June has been designated as National Safety month. Before cooling off in your pool, it is important to soak up some safety tips to protect you and your loved ones.
• Be alert—One of the most important responsibilities of owning a pool is watching your kids while they are swimming. You should always watch your children when they are in the pool area. It only takes a few seconds for something to happen that can lead to tragedy. You should also be sure to keep the kids away from pool drains and pipes.
• Be proactive—Another way to protect your children around the pool is to be proactive. Teach your children basic water safety tips and behaviors that will keep them safe. Be sure to model these behaviors as well so that they see you being safe and decide to follow. Also, if you have friends over, don’t assume they know how to be safe; instead, share the safety instructions with them.
• Keep a phone handy—Always keep your cellphone or a portable phone nearby when you are by the pool in case you have to dial 911 for a serious emergency.
• Check the pool first—If you are working around the house and notice that you haven’t seen or heard your child, check the pool area first. Don’t waste valuable time checking in their bedroom or playroom, but look for them in the pool in case the worst has happened.
• Take a swimming course—If you own a pool, it is important that you know how to swim and that your children learn as soon as possible. In addition, you should take a course in CPR so that you can perform life-saving techniques should an accident occur. Check with your local YMCA or with the American Red Cross for information on these types of courses in your area.
• Fence it in—Be sure to keep kids out when they aren’t being supervised by installing a safety fence around the pool. The fence should be at least four-feet tall and should be self-closing with a self-latching gate. Also, consider putting in a locking safety cover for when you are not using the pool or spa.
• Invest in alarms—Installing an alarm that makes a chiming sound whenever the door is opened will give you peace of mind. It will alert you if your children are trying to sneak out to the pool area unsupervised. You can also install pool alarms that will go off if the surface of the pool is disturbed by someone jumping or falling in.