A pool offers the perfect summer setting. There’s nowhere better to beat the heat than in the cool, sparkling pool water of your new or recently renovated pool. The pool is a great place for family fun, but it also presents dangers. Fortunately, with a bit of pool safety information and preparation, you can prevent accidents and ensure an enjoyable experience for all. In recognition of National Water Safety Month, we ask all pool owners to stay safe and have fun in the sun with these essential swimming pool safety tips.
Learn to Swim
Swimming is one of life’s most enjoyable experiences, offering fun for all ages. It’s also a lifesaving skill. Improving swimming skills makes time spent in the water even more pleasurable, boosting comfort and confidence. Make learning to swim a priority, beginning with essential water survival skills and progressing to improving your swimming dexterity. Check your local YMCA or parks and rec complex for available lessons.
Like any pastime, it’s essential to follow the rules when swimming. Most are common sense, but because it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a day at the pool, it’s essential to remind your kids (and yourself) of the basics:
- Swim in pairs, never alone.
- Never leave kids or pets unattended poolside.
- If a child or pet is missing, always check the pool first.
- Don’t text, read, or play games while supervising swimming activities.
- Don’t forget the sunblock! Use liberally and reapply regularly.
- Always check water temperature and depth before entering the pool.
- Pay attention to the rope and float line in pools where the slope changes and the water deepens.
- Don’t let kids or pets play or run close to your inground pool’s edge.
- Don’t rely on armbands and inflatable rings to prevent accidents.
- Don’t dive or jump into shallow above-ground pool waters.
- Never swim between the wall and ladder – you could get stuck.
- No games involving screaming ‘help’ (false alarms) when swimming.
- Avoid underwater breath-holding competitions – you could lose consciousness.
- Put toys away when done to prevent slip and fall dangers.
- Keep electrical appliances away. Use a GFCI on any poolside device/outlet.
- Learn how to keep pets safe poolside.
Be Mindful of Pool Accessories
Remove robot pool cleaners, hoses, and cords before swimming. These present an entanglement risk, and children may confuse them with toys. Learn and share the dangers of drains with your children, teaching them to stay away from suction outlets and drains. The powerful suction of drains can trap children and adults. Never swim in pools with loose, missing, or damaged drain covers, which have no backup safety mechanisms. Install anti-entrapment drain covers that prevent body parts, hair, and swimwear entrapment, and make sure your filtering system’s emergency shut-off switch is easily marked.
Keep Your Pool Clean
A well-maintained pool is essential to safety. Clean up before swimming to keep pool water clean and germ-free. Vacuum and run your filtration system regularly. Check pool chemicals and pH levels every few days. Clear water doesn’t mean safe water. Water that’s out of balance and improperly sanitized offers a breeding ground for algae, bacteria, and viruses that can make you sick. Learn how to add chemicals safely when your pool is not in use.
Ensure Multiple Layers of Protection Around Your Pool to Keep Kids Safe
- Fence it in
Install a self-closing, self-latching gate surrounding your pool at least 4 feet high. Barriers save lives.
- Install a pool alarm
We strongly recommend a pool alarm for families with children or pets. Options include surface alarms, infrared perimeter alarms, and clip-ons for children and pets. Pair these with door, screen, window, and fence gate alarms for added protection. Younger children can be incredibly persistent
when attempting to access the pool.
- Ensure thoughtful furniture placement
Don’t keep tables, chairs, or storage items where children could use them to access an above-ground pool. Remove the ladder when your above-ground pool is not in use.
- Use a pool safety cover
Swimming pool safety covers prevent drowning when your pool is not in use, especially in the off-season, keeping your pool closed and locked when you’re not enjoying it. Manual covers are great for seasonal applications, but automatic safety covers work best for more frequent use.
Know What to Do in a Swimming Pool Emergency
Responsible pool owners know how to respond to poolside emergencies. Have necessary safety equipment close at hand, including a life ring or shepherd’s hook for safe removal from water. Keep a phone nearby in case of emergency. Learn how to perform CPR on kids and adults. Your local Red Cross, library, or community center may offer free or low-cost classes.
Make Water Safety a Priority with Help from The Swimming Pool Store
Get the help you need to create a fun and safe pool environment from The Swimming Pool Store. We’ve been serving Burlington, CT, and surrounding areas for over 50 years. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you ensure swimming pool safety.