Summer is here and there’s no better joy than splashing around in a swimming pool for hours. A great exercise, swimming is not only healthy for children and adults but also a great way to spend time with your loved ones. However, swimming can involve tragic accidents and mishaps, which is why is it essential to follow basic safety procedures when it comes to installing a pool at your home. Here are some pool safety tips for caregivers.
Pool Safety Measures
Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for young children aged one to four. For every death, twice as many children are hospitalized for injuries. 4-6 minutes underwater is enough to cause irreversible brain damage. (Safety, 2021) Certain pool safety measures should always be kept in mind to avoid pool injuries and fatalities.
Set Up Pool Barriers
Often mandated by state or municipal law, setting up barricades like fences, walls, and covers is the first and foremost step of avoiding accidents. Children should not be able to go around, over or under the fence or barrier. The rules for the fence vary as per the size of the pool. However, as a standard, the fence should be fool proof when it comes to children with a latched door that is beyond the reach of children and no possibility of them scaling the fence by themselves. Four-sided pool fencing decreases water-related injuries in young children by over 50%. (Romero, 2019)
You can also ensure safety by covering the pool when it is not being used. Pool covers can be manual or automatic. There’s also a pool safety net that can catch and support a child who falls in if it is installed correctly. For smaller tubs and spas, folding covers with locking straps can be used. (Safety, 2021)
Inspect Pool Drains
Pool drains can have strong suction and accidents have occurred in the past where children drowned or suffered injuries from the drain. Drain safety should always be kept in mind and drain covers should be cleaned and repaired for safety.
Pools that are dirty because of neglect or mishandled use of chemicals can cause illnesses, irritation and even explosions or fires. Keep the chemicals away from children and store them separately from other chemicals to avoid combustion or reactions. Clean the pool frequently to maintain hygiene.
Lay down Pool Safety Rules
Set pool rules that should always be followed by children and adults. Children should not be allowed at the pool without adult supervision. They should not run or push around the pool to reduce slip and fall injuries. Ensure no one dives in areas that are not marked for diving and everyone should vacate the pool in the case of bad weather, especially lightning. (Romero, 2019)
Security Around the Pool
Add security devices around the pool area to ensure children and uninvited visitors don’t harm themselves. Set up gate alarms, so you know if any children enter. There are versions available dedicated to pool safety. Secure the gate with childproof knobs and locks. You can also consider getting an in-water motion detector or a pool alarm that alerts you when activity is detected. (Safety, 2021)
There are no safety measures that can make your pool entirely safe, especially for children. Ensure the safety of your children by incorporating a variety of measures or safety guards. Even if children can swim, it is wise to not let them be in the pool unsupervised. In case of an emergency, seek immediate help and learn how to perform CPR. If possible, have safety equipment such as floatation devices or life jackets around your pool. Pools are all about fun so follow the safety rules. Enjoy your summer with a fun splash but always be vigilant. Happy swimming!
“5 Pool Safety Tips for Your Family in 2021: Safety.com®.” Safety.com, 28 Jan. 2021, www.safety.com/pool-safety-tips/.
“Pool Safety (for Parents) – Nemours KidsHealth.” Edited by Sarah K. Romero, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, May 2019, kidshealth.org/en/parents/water-safety-pools.html.