The temperatures are climbing and the sun is shining. For all of the pool owners out there, you know what that means! It’s time to take off the cover, break out the hose and get the pool ready for the summer.
There are few things more enjoyable and refreshing on hot days than a pool in the backyard. Unfortunately, it also comes with some risks. Follow these backyard pool safety tips to ensure the pool remains a safe and fun place for your family and friends.
1. Teach Your Children the Dangers
Teaching your children to swim is an important step to take if you have a pool in your backyard. Making sure they’re fully aware of the dangers of the pool goes one step further in ensuring their safety.
Make sure your children are aware of the following rules and dangers about the pool:
- Never go in or near the pool without adult supervision
- Always walk near the pool, never run
- No diving (most backyard pools aren’t deep enough to do this safely)
- Stay away from drains and never play with them
2. Always Be Alert
It only takes a few seconds for something to go wrong in the pool. Whether you’re watching from the side or in the pool with them, always keep a close on the kids in the water. Simply being present isn’t enough; drowning is often a silent event that can be missed if you’re not watching.
If you’re having a pool party or any sort of gathering where the kids are in the pool and the adults aren’t, you should always have an assigned pool watcher. With a group of people, it’s easy to presume that someone else is watching the pool. If everyone presumes that someone else is watching, you could have an easily preventable accident on your hands.
Take turns rotating through the watcher role, so you can keep the kids safe in the pool while still enjoying socializing with the rest of the group on dry land. Even if the kids are wearing flotation devices, these are never a substitution for close adult supervision.
3. Have Your Phone Accessible But Keep Your Eyes Off Of It
Having a phone charged and ready near the poolside can save precious moments in an emergency.
Despite all that’s available on smartphones these days, your phone should only be used for emergency purposes when supervising the pool. We’ve already mentioned the importance of being alert; taking your eyes and attention off the pool to respond to a text message or scroll through Facebook is enough of a distraction that you could miss an emergency.
Save your phone for later when it’s not your turn to watch the pool. Facebook isn’t going anywhere!
If you’re worried about your phone getting wet, you have a few options. First, simply keep the phone accessible in the backyard but well away from the pool or any area it could get wet. You can also invest in a waterproof pouch to keep it in or even a waterproof cordless phone.
4. Take a First Aid Training Course
Taking a first aid training course can give you the basic knowledge and skills you need to respond to a pool emergency.
Time is critical in an emergency. While a first-aid course will never replace emergency care from a paramedic or qualified healthcare professional, first-aid measures can make an enormous difference until help arrives. It will also allow you to better deal with minor injuries such as a scraped knee from falling on the deck or a bee sting.
5. Fence in the Pool According to Local Regulations
A secure fence around your pool is one of the best ways to protect not only your own children but the safety of anyone who may wander into your backyard. In fact, researchers estimate that safer pool fencing could prevent seven out of ten drownings of children under the age of five.
Pool fencing regulations vary by municipality and region. Check the local laws for rules such as fence height, which materials it can be made of and the distance allowed from other structures.
While not required in all areas, it’s a good idea to install a self-closing and self-latching gate. This will help keep the pool area secure if someone forgets to close the gate or it’s left slightly ajar.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to implement these pool safety measures. By teaching your children the pool rules, staying alert and creating a safe and secure pool area, you can limit the risks a pool presents, respond quickly if a problem happens and enjoy your pool to the fullest.
Happy summer from Cayuga Mutual! Times have changed but Cayuga Mutual hasn’t. Contact our team today to ensure you have the right home insurance plan to protect your pool and your family.