Ahhh… There’s no better way to spend a hot Florida summer day than lounging around poolside. While backyard pools are certainly lots of fun, they do present some risks – almost half of all pool-related injuries occur at residential pools.
To help ensure that your pool time goes swimmingly, we’re sharing nine important pool safety tips to consider before you dive in.
1. Install a Barrier Around Your Pool
To prevent young children from entering the pool without adult supervision, install a 4-foot-high self-locking fence around the perimeter. When you’re done for the day, consider placing a safety cover over the pool and put away portable ladders and steps.
2. Prevent Accidents
Use non-slip materials on the pool deck, pool steps and ladders, and diving board to prevent slip-and-fall accidents. Establish a “no running” rule as an additional preventive measure.
3. Have a Set of Pool Rules
Clearly establish and enforce pool rules, such as no horseplay, no running, no diving, etc. Explain to children the dangers of pushing people into the pool as well as diving and running around the pool.
4. Clearly Mark Water Depths
Conspicuously mark all water depths in the pool, indicating if and where the water gets deeper. If you install a diving board or slide, consult with a professional contractor to make sure the water is deep enough.
5. Monitor Children at All Times
Maintain a close watch on children while they swim and play near the pool, and designate a responsible adult to watch them at all times. Take extra precautions with young or inexperienced swimmers by having them wear life jackets while swimming, keeping them within arm’s reach, and using the buddy system.
6. Make Sure Everyone Knows How to Swim
Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children under the age of 4. Enroll your child in swimming lessons at an early age so they learn how to swim and understand the basics of water safety.
7. Keep Your Swimming Pool Healthy
Before you dive in, make sure your swimming pool is healthy to prevent red eyes, swimmer’s ear, and skin infections caused by chloramines that form when chlorine combines with dirt, sweat, and urine. The Water Quality & Health Council is offering free pool test kits for Florida homeowners to test their backyard pools for proper pH and chlorine level.
8. Avoid Pool Drains and Other Openings
Over the last 30 years, there have been more than 147 pool suction entrapment incidents, 36 of which resulted in death. Swimmers, usually young children, can get trapped by suction forces that occur when water rushes into the drain at the bottom of the pool.
Make sure swimmers steer clear of pool drains, pipes, and other openings that may cause entrapments. Be especially cautious with younger children.
9. Keep Electrical Appliances Away From the Pool
Keep all electrical appliances, such as radios and cell phones, away from the pool to reduce the risk of electrical shock. Hire a professional who understands proper pool safety to install electrical pool equipment.
Have a great and safe summer … Happy swimming!