We all enjoy the warm weather and every year plenty of families keep cool by enjoying backyard pools. Tragically, statistics say over 200 children drown in backyard swimming pools each year. The American Red Cross suggests owners make pool safety their priority by following these safety tips for kids and pools:
• Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround your pool with a 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.
• Keep children under active supervision at all times. Stay in arm’s reach of young kids. Designate a responsible person to watch the water when people are in the pool—never allow anyone to swim alone. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
• Ensure everyone in the home knows how to swim well by enrolling them in age-appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses from the Red Cross.
• Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.
• Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors, such as “no diving,” “stay away from drain covers,” “swim with a buddy” and “walk please.”
• Ensure everyone in the home knows how to respond to aquatic emergencies by having appropriate safety equipment and taking water safety, first aid and CPR courses from the Red Cross.
When it comes to our children we can’t be too careful. There is no undo button when it comes to tragedies so be a smart pool owner and follow these tips. You’ll be glad you did.