The dog days of summer are fast approach and pool season will soon be in full swing! Nothing beats the time of year when you can get together with family and friends around the pool to help beat the beat.

Follow these simple pool safety tips to make sure the only thing you’re worried about is how much fun you’re having.

Teach Children Water Safety

Drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death in children aged one to four. Pool safety is a must, even from a young age. Here are some ways to teach your kids water safety:

  • Make sure your children know how to swim.
  • Diving in backyard pools can be dangerous. Make sure children know if the pool they are in has a safe area and depth for diving.
  • Running near pools is extremely dangerous. Ensure that children always walk and are aware of all the dangers – falling in the pool, falling on the deck area etc.
  • Keep children away from drains. Make sure drain pipes have tight-fitting covers that cannot easily be removed by a child. Ensure they know the dangers of getting trapped and that these are not for play!
  • Finally, do not rely on “floaties” to keep children safe. Use an approved personal flotation device (PFD) that is appropriate for not just their size, but their weight. Don’t forget, floatation devices are never a substitute for adult supervision.

Be Alert

If you are hosting a backyard party, you should designate one adult to be the “water watcher”. This person should only be watching the pool and not be distracted by anything else around them.

This means no phones, reading, playing cards, chatting with other guests etc. while watching the children. Remember, drowning can happen in an instant!

Be Prepared

When lounging around the pool, or at the beach, make sure you have a charged phone in case of an emergency.

It’s also a good idea to take a First Aid and CPR course, along with one in water safety.

You should always keep all safety equipment within reach. Your safety equipment should include a first aid kit complete with scissors to cut away hair or clothing that may have become trapped, a proper life preserver and a shepherd’s hook. Don’t waste precious moments because you’re having to retrieve or find safety equipment.

Sun Safety

Water safety is most people’s number one concern around the pool, but don’t forget about the sun!

Always remember sunscreen and use it often. Children burn more easily and water reflects the harmful rays of the sun. Use a good sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming.

For additional sun safety use cover-ups, hats and rashguards or clothing with UV protection.

Good Fences Make Safe Pools

All pools are required to have a fence that fully encloses the pool. Municipal guidelines may vary, so make sure to research the local rules, but here are some general tips you can follow:

  • The fence should be at least 4 ft tall and fully enclose all sides of the pool
  • Gates should open away from the pool, self-close and self-latch.
  • Latches should be at a height that children are unable to reach.
  • Make sure the gate is kept locked at all times when nobody is around.
  • If at all possible, equip the gate with an alarm.

*For the best information on pool fencing, chick your local by-law office for requirements and permits.

Summer is the time to get outside and enjoy the backyard with your friends and family! Taking the time to follow these simple pool safety tips will help ensure your summer is filled with sun, fun and laughter. From Cayuga Mutual’s family to yours, have a great time!