Having a pool at home is a great way to stay active in the warmer months. Adults and children can enjoy special family bonding time in the water while staying cool. Children can refine their swimming skills. While having a pool is fun, pool owners and parents need to devote time to make sure everyone plays safely. Our five tips will help you enjoy your pool safely and have fun at the same time.
1. Make Sure Kids Are Safe
When swimming with children, it is vitally important to watch them at all times. Even if your child can swim, accidents can happen. Don’t just sit by the pool playing on your phone: actively monitor your children at all times. Make sure they stay away from drains and suction outlets. Be especially careful when children are jumping into the pool. If they jump in head first, they could have severe spinal injuries.
Keep a phone by the pool to call 911 if an accident happens. If it’s difficult to watch your children 100% of the time, designate a Water Watcher, an adult dedicated to watching the children while another adult relaxes by the pool. Once they are used to it, having a Water Watcher is fun for children who are always asking an adult to watch them demonstrate a new skill.
It is imperative to make sure unsupervised children never have access to the pool area. Think of your own children but also neighbors who might access the pool without your knowledge. Use locking gates and an alarm system to alert an adult if a child has opened the gate.
2. Never Swim By Yourself
This is an important rule to teach children, but adults need to abide by it as well. Swimming alone is dangerous even for the most experienced swimmers. Even experts could get into situations where they cannot call for help. Children should be taught the buddy system from a young age, but adults could benefit from it as well. With the buddy system, periodic checks make sure that everyone is swimming safely.
3. No Running
Children and adults alike need to avoid running around the pool. Most pools are surrounded by a deck or concrete. These surfaces easily become slippery when wet. Broken bones or sprains are possible, and in the worst-case scenario, an injured swimmer could fall into the pool and be unable to swim.
Keep obstacles such as deck chairs and toys far enough back from the edge of the pool to provide a safe walking area. Removing items that could be tripping hazards is always a good idea. If your pool deck is in bad shape it is imperative to get it repaired by a professional.
4. Wear Sunscreen
It’s easy to forget sun protection while having fun around the pool. Sunscreen helps people stay safe from the adverse effects of the sun. Make sure sunscreen is labeled as water-resistant, and reapply it according to the manufacturer’s directions. Most water-resistant sunscreens are good for about 80 minutes in the water. Reapply sunscreen each time you get out of the water and towel off. Make sure you apply enough sunscreen: the general rule is to apply one ounce of sunscreen to the entire body.
Proper use of sunscreen defends against painful sunburns, skin cancer, and premature aging. Severe sunburns early in life are associated with a greater risk of skin cancer.
5. Learn CPR
CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an important skill for all pool owners whether or not they have children. With CPR, a person who has inhaled water and experienced a cardiac event can be kept from serious brain injury or death. CPR can save precious minutes before emergency responders arrive. Even though most pool owners will never have to use it, it’s better to have the skill just in case. CPR classes are available through the local Red Cross and through local emergency response agencies.
These important safety tips will keep your friends and family safe while enhancing your enjoyment of your pool. Make sure that everyone who uses your pool follows the rules.