Summer is finally here! If you haven’t already opened your pool for the season, now is the time. But before you dive in, it’s also a good time to ensure your pool area is safe.
Pool accidents are preventable. By simply taking a few precautionary steps, you can effectively prevent injuries, accidental slips and falls, or worse. No matter how many years you’ve owned a pool, or whether you have a large family with kids in your home or you live by yourself, you must take pool safety seriously.
As you prepare for the season’s hottest temperatures over the next couple months, here’s how to keep your pool safe for everyone.
- Check your fence.
Most jurisdictions (and insurance companies) require a fence of at least 48 inches tall around your swimming pool. Take the time to walk around your entire fence to make sure it is still sturdy, secure and completely enclosed.
- Fix or update gate latches.
Over time, the latches on gates can begin to deteriorate and fail to close. Now is a good time to fix or replace those latches. Make sure it is high enough to be out of reach from small children. Also, consider self-closing hinges, so that the gate closes automatically.
- Fix drain covers.
Inside the pool, be sure to double check drain covers to ensure they are not broken and do not pose a safety hazard. If you have an older pool, it may be time to update this cover. Also, it’s a good rule of thumb to teach small children to stay away from the cover when in the pool.
- Keep pool decks cleared.
Don’t let the perimeter of your pool become cluttered with pool toys, chairs or other items. These are tripping hazards. Move furniture several feet back from the pool and always keep the deck cleared, during swim time and after.
- Never leave children unattended.
Whether the kids are swimming or just sitting outside the pool, they should never be left alone.
- Learn CPR.
It’s never too late to learn CPR. And just because you haven’t needed those skills thus far doesn’t mean you never will. CPR classes are available in every area, via local community centers, hospitals, the Red Cross and other organizations. CPR saves lives – it’s a good idea for everyone in your family to learn it.
- Teach pool safety to children.
Take the time to teach (and remind) children about the rules of the pool – and be sure to set a good example yourself. Don’t become lax about these rules, or they will never be followed. Some good basics are: no running, no rough play, no entering the pool area without an adult, no glass or sharp objects in the pool and so on.