Published on April 17th, 2018 | by Roger Corbinetti0
May is National Water Safety Month!
With the chill of winter fading and the gentle warmth of spring setting in, most homes are getting ready to enjoy their swimming pools again.
To help families stay safe, May is recognized as the National Water Safety Month.
It’s time to remember and implement simple but essential tips for keeping your family safe in and around the pool. They are especially important if you have kids or pets around.
One of the most important pool safety tips is never to let kids use the swimming pool unsupervised. Even if they know how to swim, there should always be an adult there to keep a close eye on them.
If you have guests over and there are more kids than usual, it’s a good idea to have 2 or more adults nearby.
Avoid any distractions when supervising kids in the pool. Things happen quickly and seconds make all the difference.
If you are leaving the kids with a babysitter, either close off the pool or leave explicit instructions on pool safety.
Kids can easily sneak into the water without your knowledge. The best way to protect them when they are out of the pool is to use a pool barrier.
Buy a good quality pool fence that is high enough and sturdy. You can install a permanent pool fence or use a removable barrier. Whichever type of fence you use, make sure it has a self-closing gate. Never prop the gate open with an object to prevent it from closing.
For above ground pools, you do not need a pool fence if the pool is more than four feet high. But a removable or lockable ladder is a must. A removable ladder can be removed when the pool is not in use while a lockable one is lifted and locked into place where kids cannot access it.
Pool barriers are highly effective at preventing kids and pets from reaching the water, but they are not foolproof.
A determined child may still find a way to pass, or the barrier could be defective in a way that allows access to the pool even to a child.
Add another layer of protection by using pool alarms. There are several types.
There are alarms installed on windows and doors leading to the pool. They’ll go off if they detect motion. Other alarms are installed in the pool, either on the water surface or submerged into the pool. They also detect motion.
For even more protection, get a wristband alarm. The wristband is placed on the arm of a child. It can also be used on pets or elderly persons with dementia. The wristband sets off an alarm as soon as it is submerged in water.
Look for a wristband that is lockable such that a pet or child cannot remove it.
Consider using multiple alarms to create foolproof protection. You can have door and window alarms, another alarm device in the pool (in case they use another door to access the pool) and a wristband alarm.
When you are setting up outdoor surveillance cameras, make sure one of the cameras is pointing towards the pool. It’s an easy way to monitor the pool area when you are inside the house or away from home.
Make sure everyone at home knows how to swim, including young children.
Your can start introducing babies to water as early as six months during parent-child swimming classes (don’t do it at home). This allows babies to become more comfortable with being in the water.
They can then start serious swimming lessons at around one year of age.
They won’t be great swimmers until around 6 or 7 years, but they’ll be plenty good enough to avoid drowning.
If you or any other adult hasn’t yet learned to swim, then it’s definitely time to take swimming lessons. It’s incredibly easy, and you’ll be ready to swim after about 20 hours of training.
Here are other tips to keep in mind this pool safety month.
- The danger is not just drowning – a dirty pool can be a health risk, too. Make sure your pool is treated and cleaned on schedule. I recommend buying a robotic pool cleaner. It’s a better and cheaper way of keeping the pool clean. If you’re looking for a new pool cleaner, check out our list of the best pool cleaners for 2018.
- Teach your kids pool safety – not just how to swim. Make sure they know never to swim or play in or near the pool alone and how to respond if a sibling or any other person is in danger of drowning.
- Whenever your child is missing, always check the pool first. Seconds make the difference between life and death. Start with the pool before checking other areas.
- Never leave kids unsupervised near a pool – even for a few minutes. Drowning is usually a completely silent process, so you may not hear a splash.
- Always maintain visual contact when supervising kids. Watch a child even more closely if they have a history of seizures.
- Never drink alcohol or take recreational drugs when swimming or when supervising kids.
- Make sure everyone in the house knows CPR. Post instructions near the poolside.
- Keep a first aid kit and rescue equipment within easy reach near the pool.
- A poolside emergency phone is also a great idea. It will ensure you don’t waste precious seconds rushing into the house to get your phone to call for help.
Pools are a totally fun way to ward off the heat and enjoy the warm season.
But they can also be deadly. According to the CDC, about ten people die every day because of accidental drowning – and 20% are children younger than 14 years.
This National Water Safety month, make pool safety a priority.
Do not assume – and don’t make compromises.
Enjoy a safe and fun swimming season!