There is nothing more important than family and keeping them safe around the pool should be a top priority. You should always maintain a safe and secure swimming pool environment and practice good safety habits to keep your loved ones safe. There are a number of essential safety guidelines and practices to follow to make sure you have peace of mind while everyone enjoys the pool.
If there are going to be any first-time swimmers in the pool this year, you should reach out to a local pool or aquatic center regarding swim lessons and lifeguard classes. Supervision must be mandatory for the pool area, so make sure your kids know that it is only safe to go in the pool when there is an adult with them. It should be a rule of the house that nobody is to go by the pool whenever you are away from the house. You should also get a pool fence installed with a self-latching gate. The recommended height for pool fences is 4 feet and you need to make sure all slats are close together so as not to allow for climbing or squeezing through. You should also consider installing an alarm to alert you whenever someone is near the pool. There are even alarms that can notify you if someone enters or falls into the pool.
Educate your children about diving so that they understand where it is safe to dive and where to identify the changes in depths. Make sure kids always wear sunscreen because pool protection is about more than just preventing water hazards. Overexposure to harmful UV rays while playing in and around the pool also needs to be prevented. Never allow food or eating in the pool, because having food in your mouth is a potential choking hazard. Even chewing gum is a danger and can cause drowning should choking occur. Make sure you watch your kids closely so they don’t take a bite of lunch and dive in before they finished chewing.
As mentioned, sunscreen is a necessity if you and the family will be outdoors for a long period of time. A little bit of sun can be good for you, but too much can cause painful sunburns and even skin cancer. Even in the water, the sun will be overheard, so get a waterproof sunscreen. For the times that you or the kids are out of the water, stay covered up with a hat and long-sleeved shirts.
The National Weather Service provides a sun index to help determine how much sun you should get during the day. There are times throughout the day where the sun is hotter and more dangerous, and this is when you should just stay indoors.
- 0-2: minimal protection needed and you can stay outside for more than an hour and is a good time to swim
- 3-4: low rating where a hat and sunscreen are advised. It is safe to be outside for about an hour with minimal risk.
- 5-6: moderate rating. You will need a hat, SP-15 sunscreen and need to take breaks in the shade as often as possible. You should only stay outside for about 30 minutes at a time.
- 7-9: high rating. These ratings typically occur between 10 am and 4 pm, and you should only be outside for 20 minute periods when the UV rating is this high.
Your kids are not the only ones that can drown in the pool. You need to keep your pets safe too. Even though many animals are natural swimmers, you don’t want to take the chance with pets that have had little to no exposure to water. Even if they can swim, falling into water suddenly can cause shock and then drowning.
The same precautions that keep your kids safe will work for pets too such as fences, gates, and alarms. Be careful with pool covers as animals may not be able to tell how secure they are and will walk out on to them anyway. If you do allow your pet to use the pool, teach them how to exit with the ramp or steps so that they can safely get in and out of the pool themselves. The pool is a great place to be for the summer months. It can be fun and relaxing. The dangers of having a pool are very real, however, and you need to keep the area safe. Using the guidelines and recommendations above, you can ensure that your loved ones are safe and the pool is a fun zone all season long.