Did you know that May is National Swimming Pool Safety Month? It’s great to designate a month to increase awareness, but if you have a pool, safety should be at the forefront of your mind at all times. An inground swimming pool is an amazing amenity to have in your own back yard, a place where your friends and family can gather to have fun and make memories. If you’re not paying attention to pool safety, though, it can quickly become a dangerous place. Here, we offer some pool safety tips to keep all your pool memories light and fun, and keep your loved ones safe.
1. Put up a pool safety fence. A four-sided fence that separates the pool from the house and surrounding area is the best way to prevent accidental drowning. This fence should be at least four feet tall, with no more than four inches of space between the bottom of the fence and the ground. The gate to the pool must be self-closing and self-latching, and should open out instead of in. The latches must be above the reach of children, and the fence can’t have openings or protrusions that would allow a child to climb over, under, or through it.
2. Make your pool rules non-negotiable. Talk about pool safety and the dangers that come with having a pool. Establish clear rules and make sure your family understands that obeying the rules is not up for discussion. Consider implementing rules that include the following:
- No running.
- No diving outside of designated areas.
- No roughhousing.
- Be careful around drains and covers to avoid entrapment.
- Wear sunscreen and appropriate clothing for sun protection.
- Use pool safety equipment properly, never as toys.
- Exit the pool and go inside if a storm is approaching.
3. Avoid Distractions. No matter what, someone needs to be watching the children at all times. If you’re throwing a party or having friends over, designate one person as a dedicated watcher, and make sure that person isn’t distracted by a phone. In fact, do not go indoors to answer the phone while leaving the child outside. Turn off outdoor televisions. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children. Never go into the bathroom and leave a child unattended. Do not get involved in any factor that would take your eyes and mind off of keeping the children safe.
4. Never swim alone. This should apply to children and adults alike. While it’s obvious that children should never swim without supervision, accidents can happen to anyone, even adults who are strong swimmers. Drowning can occur in a matter of moments, so it makes sense that anyone who uses the pool should do so with a buddy.
5. Properly maintain your pool and equipment. Keep your pool clean, to prevent sickness and infection. Store your chemicals in a safe area away from the pool area and inaccessible to children. Inspect your pool regularly to make sure it’s in good shape; once a year, have it professionally inspected. Look for rips in the liner, damage inside the pool, and any rust or deterioration of the pool’s metal components. Pay special attention to the pool drains because their powerful suction can entrap a child with fatal results. Install an anti-entrapment cover and make sure the drain and cover are in good repair. Have two drains for each pool pump so that there’s not excessive suction from an overworked drain. Keep lifesaving equipment like a rescue hook, reaching pole, and throwing rope with rings, in good repair and within easy reach of the pool area.
6. Create layers of protection around your pool. The fence is a great safety measure, but for optimal safety, put other precautions in place, as well. Ensure that everyone in your family knows how to swim, making swimming lessons a healthcare priority for your children. Consider other features, including a pool safety cover, a pool alarm and alarms that sound when a door or gate is opened. There are also floating alarms that sound when something- (or someone)- falls into the pool. Be vigilant about keeping your pool clean, and remember to collect and store toys and floats every time you leave the pool, to avoid tempting curious children to check out the pool.
7. Have an emergency plan in place. Know the basics of CPR and first aid, and teach kids to notify adults if anyone is struggling in the pool. Put an all-weather sign explaining the basics of CPR on the inside of your pool fence, with your address on the opposite side in case someone needs to call 911. And while you should never be on the cell phone while you’re watching children in the pool, it’s vital to have a phone within easy reach in case you need to call for help.
When you’re ready to install a safe, fun pool in your back yard, depend on Blue Haven Pools to help with all your swimming pool needs. We’re Oklahoma’s premier provider of custom inground pool designs, and we even offer features like sun ledges, rock waterfalls, pool fountains, beach entries, pool mosaics, and much more. We’ll install your decking and pool, and our in-store experts can help you find the right supplies and chemicals, as well as equipping you with the know-how to keep it beautiful and clear. With over 30 years of experience, we’ve got resources and knowledge to provide your perfect pool. Contact Blue Haven for more information or call 405-817-1946 today!