Summer is here and with it are the dog days of summer invoking lovely thoughts of leisurely days by the pool. The CDC claims that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death among children ages 1 to 4 and most of those drownings occur in home swimming pools. Also, a number of injuries occur each summer in pool related incidents, so vigilance is key. While the pool fills up, why not revisit safety standards that will keep you and your family living the good life this summer.
Check the latches for all gates that lead to the pool area to make sure they are child proof and in good working order. All gates should be self-closing and self-latching. Don’t ever allow anyone to prop open the gate because once bad habits form, they could continue and may lead to an accident.
Walk the perimeter of your pool’s isolation fence testing it for any loose, broken, cracked, non-working pieces.
Make sure that there aren’t any areas of your pool barrier that allow children to crawl over or to squeeze through.
Check your lockable cover on your pool every time you use it. Remove any standing water from a power cover because as you know, it takes very little water for a drowning to occur.
If you have an above ground pool, make sure that all ladders are removed when the pool isn’t in use with adult supervision and at night.
Remove any objects around your pool that can be used to climb fences.
Also make sure that the deck of your pool remains free of objects that could cause people to trip, slip, and fall into the pool or land hard on the deck.
Make sure you have rescue equipment by your pool. A hook, tube or life ring are important for pulling someone to safety.
Make sure you also have a first aid kit for use with minor injuries.
Store those much needed, important pool chemicals under lock and key and in a well-ventilated area.
Train, train, train – your teenagers and older children that get access to the pool are often the one’s leaving open gates, not setting alarms, basically allowing younger children access. Train them on the importance of keeping the pool, the gates, and doors of the home locked and inaccessible to younger siblings.
Go over the Red Cross’s water safety rules with your family every summer.
Let your home security system work even harder for you. Turn it on when you are busy or distracted, better yet, anytime you are home, so that if a little one goes out, you will know right away.
Pools are fun and a great way to beat the heat. Don’t let fear and worry keep you and your children out of the water. Instead, revisit and review pool and water safety with your family, and go out and live your best summer yet.