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Pool Safety 101: Tips for a Secure Swimming Environment

Swimming pools are a popular feature in many households. They provide a fun and relaxing way to cool off during hot summer days, host social gatherings, and stay active. Not to mention, pools can increase the value of a property.

Yet, amidst all the joys of owning a pool also comes great responsibility. Swimming pools can pose a significant safety risk - especially for young children. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission , there are over 370 spa or pool-related drownings involving children under the age of 15 each year in the United States. Other potential hazards, such as pool chemical mishaps, can also occur if proper water safety precautions are not taken.

To ensure a secure swimming environment for you and your loved ones, here are some essential pool safety tips to keep in mind:

Install Fencing Around the Pool Area

Many states have laws that require homeowners with pools and hot tubs to have a self-closing fence installed around the perimeter.

The reason for this requirement is simple - a fence acts as a barrier and can prevent young children and pets from entering the pool area unsupervised. Even if you don't live in a state that mandates fencing, it is still a wise pool safety measure to take. A four-sided isolation fence for a pool should be at least five feet high and able to self-latch.

If you own an above-ground pool, it is still recommended to have a fence installed for added protection. Children can easily climb up the ladder and fall into the swimming pool without proper supervision.

Invest in Pool Alarms

Pool alarms are another smart and affordable way to enhance pool safety. There are several types of swimming pool alarms available on the market, such as:

  • Gate Alarms: This pool alarm will sound an alert if someone enters the pool area through a gate without properly disarming it.  
  • Surface Motion Alarms: This pool alarm will detect any movement on the water's surface and sound off if someone falls in or enters the pool unattended.
  • Wristband Alarms: These wearable devices sound an alarm if they become submerged in water for more than a few seconds. They are especially useful for young children playing around the backyard pool.  

While these alarms do not replace proper supervision and caution, they serve as an additional pool safety measure that can provide peace of mind.

Store Pool Chemicals Properly

Pool chemicals are necessary for keeping the water clean and safe to swim in. However, just like any other household chemical, they can pose a danger if not handled and stored properly. Pool chemicals can make children and pets gravely ill if ingested or inhaled. 

To ensure pool chemicals do not end up in the wrong hands, make sure to:

  • Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Keep them out of reach of children and pets by storing them in a locked cabinet or shed.
  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when handling and mixing pool chemicals.  

Properly storing and handling pool chemicals can reduce the risk of accidents and keep your backyard pool safe for everyone. 

Use Pool Covers 

Above-ground and in-ground pools are typically not in use all year round, and during the off-season, it's important to keep them covered. Pool covers not only help keep debris out of the pool, but they also provide an extra layer of safety. 

Many pool covers are designed to support the weight of a child, which can prevent accidental drownings. However, it's important to note that pool covers are not meant to serve as a substitute for fencing or constant supervision. 

When installing a pool cover, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and secure it tightly. It's crucial to regularly check the cover for any tears or damages that can compromise its integrity. 

Supervise Children at All Times

No swimming pool safety measure can replace close and constant supervision when it comes to pool safety. Children should always be supervised by an adult when near a pool, even if they know how to swim.

Consider designating a responsible adult as the "water watcher" and rotate this role among adults at events such as a social gathering or pool party. This ensures that there is always someone keeping a watchful eye on the pool and its swimmers.

Additionally, it's important to establish strict pool rules for children, such as no running near the pool, no diving into shallow areas, and other swimming safety tips. Enforce these pool rules consistently to be sure children understand the potential dangers of not following them.

Of course, sometimes, children can be sneaky and find ways to access the pool without adult supervision. As such, taking the precautions mentioned above and getting swim lessons for children are highly recommended.

Emergency Preparedness 

Finally, be prepared for any potential emergencies that may occur around the pool. Some pool safety essentials include keeping a first aid kit and rescue equipment, such as a lifesaver, near the pool at all times. Make sure everyone in the household knows how to use these water safety items in case of an emergency. 

It's also a good idea to learn CPR and keep up to date with your certification. In the event of a drowning or other water-related accident, performing CPR can potentially save a life until medical professionals arrive.  

The Wrap Up

Pool safety is not something to take lightly, especially when it comes to children and pets. By following these tips and implementing necessary safety measures, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable pool experience for everyone involved. 

In need of pool equipment? Check out our selection of safety covers, toys, chemicals, and more at our online store. And remember, always practice responsible pool ownership to keep your loved ones safe. Happy swimming!  

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