Pool Safety Tips for a Safe SummerBy Pauline Hammerbeck June 28, 2012 | 10:00 AMPosted in: Family, Personal Safety
better way to beat the mid-summer heat than with a dip in the pool? Though, if
you have a pool, or are looking to add one to your back yard, there are a number
of pool safety tips to keep in mind to make sure swimming activities are
pool safety devices
first thing you should do is make sure you have a pool safety fence to keep
small children away when the area is unsupervised. According to CDC pool safety
data, fencing around the pool could prevent more than 50 percent of all
swimming pool drowning incidents among young children.
fence latches should be self-closing and the slats should be four-feet tall and
no more than four inches apart. This will keep curious toddlers from squeezing
their way into what should be a restricted space.
may also want to consider a pool alarm – which is like a motion
detector for the pool’s surface – to alert you if your kids (or your
neighbors) are using the pool without supervision
covers are another important element in family safety
(and keeping the pool pristine). Make sure to get a cover that meets American
Society for Testing and Materials weigh-bearing standards, which means it must
be able to hold a minimum of 485 pounds per five square feet.
cover should also be anchored to the pool deck to prevent sagging, so it
doesn’t become a secondary drowning hazard for children.
the exterior is secured, you’ll want to focus on what’s inside the pool—the
water is key to a safe summertime swim. You’ll want to regularly test your
pool’s pH level (it should come in between 7.2 and 7.6) and ensure the water is
clear, never cloudy. Remove any debris—like leaves, bugs and grass—daily, and
add chlorine regularly to sanitize the water.
should also routinely check your pool drains and suction covers. If they’re
cracked or, worse yet, missing, they need to be replaced. Some older drains can
cause younger kids to become trapped in a pool.
your drains’ compliance with federal
pool safety requirements; if they’re not up to snuff, keep swimmers away
until they’re replaced.
Survey the swimmers
easily overlooked element in all of this is that one of the most important aspects
of pool safety is…you!
be keenly aware of activity around the swimming pool and never leave young
children unattended; any child under the age of 5 should always be within arm’s
reach. A child can drown in less time than it takes for you to answer the
phone, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
course, everyone deserves a little bit of downtime during pool time, so it may
be useful to rotate lifeguarding duties between the adults. Make sure the guard
has a first aid kit, a phone and life-saving flotation devices within reach
while on duty. It is also a good idea to familiarize yourself with basic rescue
procedures like CPR in case you ever need to use them.
there are a number of pool safety rules and measures to keep in mind before you
can enjoy your backyard oasis. But once you have all your bases covered, you
can concentrate on the most important part of pool ownership: having fun!
Guest blogger Pauline Hammerbeck is an editor for The Allstate blog, which helps people
prepare for the unpredictability of life.
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