5 Safety tips when kids are around your swimming pool
When it comes to children and water, most have no fear! It is important to ensure that every child in the home, whether they live in the house or are just visiting, understands the rules around your swimming pool. Here are 5 safety tips that every pool owner should read.
1. Teaching children to swim and tread water! Although the ability to swim does not remove the hazards that can occur in a body of water, being able to tread water can help to keep someone afloat long enough for them to be saved if the need arises. It’s easy to rely on floatation devices, such as arm floaties and swim rings, but these are not made for the purpose of safety in the water. It only takes moments for a child to remove them and accidentally slip under the water. Drowning is not like it is shown in the movies, with splashing and screaming, it can be silent and unnoticed.
2. Follow the Rules! This does not apply to just the children within the yard, but to everyone. It has long been said to lead by example, and this holds true around bodies of water, including your backyard swimming pool. If children see you following the rules you have laid out, they will be more likely to follow the rules as well. Ensure everyone understands the rules for the pool and for poolside playing before allowing them to indulge. Keep a list of the pool rules in plain sight so everyone remembers. These rules should include items such as No Running, No Shallow Diving, No Pushing or Shoving etc…
3. Secure everything! Check with your local by-laws to see what they require for your yard. Typically, it is a 5’ fence surrounding the pool with a self latching gate. The fence must be installed vertically so there is no hand or foot holds for little ones who love to climb. You should ensure you periodically check your safety precautions and repair any damages right away. You can purchase an alarm for the gate that will alert you should someone open the latch. As well, you may want to consider securing access from the house, so no one can walk out the patio door right to the swimming pool. An in the water pool alarm will alert you should someone jump or fall into the pool.
4. Stay Alert and within Arms Reach! It is easy to want to relax and shut your eyes while you take a moment to yourself to enjoy your haven, after all you can hear the kids splashing and playing around the pool. But as stated previously, drowning is often silent. Stay alert and keep an eye on everyone in the pool. Even great swimmers can develop cramps that cause them to need help. Keep children within arms reach and keep your safety equipment near the pool. If you are throwing a pool party, you may want to consider hiring a lifeguard for the duration of the party to ensure everyone is kept safe.
5. Clean up after swimming! It was a long afternoon and we just want to get in the house and relax, maybe cook dinner, watch a favorite show on television. The clean up can wait until tomorrow. WRONG! Clean up time should follow directly after leaving the pool. Not only do pool toys and equipment present a tripping hazard when left on the pool deck, they can also tempt children to begin playing again.
I hope you found these tips helpful. I encourage you to check out our past safety articles as well, to help you develop your own pool rules and checklists for safety.