Home pool safety has really been at the forefront of my mind, especially now that we have 3 boys and a pool, it’s summertime, and they’re spending copious amounts of time in the pool every single day. With our toddler, it’s become even more of a concern because he hasn’t yet learned how to swim. Add that to the fact that he really loves the pool, so it’s a huge draw for him.
All over America, there are homes with swimming pools opening up for the summer. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, among preventable injuries, drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1-4 years old. Also, children 1-4 years old are more likely to drown in a pool. According to the American Red Cross, over 200 young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year. I don’t know about you, but those facts get my heart racing.
These deaths are preventable, though, and there are steps we can take as homeowners to ensure the safety of our little (and bigger) people. Below are a few home pool safety tips to make having a pool at home a little safer all ‘round.
Home Pool Safety Tips
1. Place a fence around your pool. The American Red Cross suggests building a 4-foot high fence around your pool that also has a self-closing or self-latching gate. Most home insurance companies will also require you to have a fence around your pool to ensure the safety of both your family and others.
2. Don’t let anyone swim alone. Always supervise your kids, no matter how old they are; or if they are older, make sure they have a buddy to swim with.
3. Set rules and communicate those rules with your kids. For example, don’t allow running around the pool. Make sure they understand why there are rules, as well.
4. Teach kids how to swim. Even the tiniest of babies are now learning how to swim. If possible, sign your kids up for swim lessons, or teach them how to swim yourself. Make sure they know different techniques like treading water.
5. At the same time, don’t assume that just because your kids know how to swim means they’re immune from drowning. Accidents happen, and they happen every day, so always stay cautiously aware.
6. Don’t allow roughhousing. Believe me, I know that boys will be boys. I get it. But try to keep the roughhousing, dunking, and all that roughhousing entails, to a minimum.
7. Keep your pool clean. Vacuum up and clean out debris. Also, make sure it’s sanitized and your chemical levels are balanced correctly. If chemical levels get out of whack, it’s possible for anyone who comes in contact with the water to have a reaction to it.
8. Learn CPR and basic first aid. Learn skills for swimming and water safety. The American Red Cross actually offers CPR classes. They also have a Home Pool Essentials course that not only teaches about pool maintenance but also how to keep the pool a safe place.
There are all sorts of safety products you could purchase, including pool alarms, which are worth looking into, as well. But the above tips are a great place to start to ensure the safety of your little people this summer. Here’s to a safe and happy summer for everyone!