Living in Florida many families enjoy the luxury of having their own home swimming pool right in their backyard. But with the fun and joys that can come with having a swimming pool, there are also dangers involved. Here’s what you need to know to keep you and your family safe.
Know The Dangers
There are a number of risks that any pool poses to our safety. Slippery and wet pavement around the pool can lead to slips and falls that can cause injuries from scrapes to cuts to broken bones, and unintentional drowning accidents happen far more often than they should. Drowning accidents are the leading cause of death for children under the age of five, and 87% of all drowning incidents occur in backyard swimming pools.
Guard The Pool
There are a number of different ways you can guard your backyard swimming pool.
- Install a safety fence or gate around the pool. The safety fence or gate should be a minimum of 4 feet high and be self-closing and self-latching. Make you’re your pool safety fence or gate is built in a way that does not allow children to climb on other objects around it to get over it.
- Install and use a safety cover when not using the pool. If your pool is an above ground pool you should remove any ladders that are used to access the pool.
- Set an alarm. You can also add an alarm to your backdoor that will alert you if anyone exits the backyard towards the pool. There are even alarms that you can install underwater in the pool that will alert you anytime someone enters the pool.
The powerful suctioning of pool drains makes it easy for children and even adults to get pulled in and trapped in the drain. If someone gets their leg or arm trapped in the drain they can quickly be pulled underwater and drown. Make sure children know to stay away from the drains and use anti-entrapment drain covers in your pool to prevent accidents from occurring.
Know How To Swim
This might seem like a given if you are going to have a pool in your own backyard but making sure everyone in the home knows how to swim properly goes beyond the basics of swimming. Even the youngest of children can be enrolled in professional led water survival courses that will teach them how to respond in an emergency if they accidentally fall into the pool. It is recommended that children take refresher swimming classes once a year.
Get Certified In First Aid And CPR
The best way to prevent tragedy is to be prepared for any emergency. If you have a home swimming pool, it is a good idea to get certified in basic first-aid and CPR, so you are able to quickly and properly respond to any emergencies that do arise.
Establish Pool Rules
Pool rules aren’t only for gyms and public pools, you should also establish pool rules for your own home swimming pool. Make sure anyone that comes to your home knows your pool rules including family, friends, guests, neighbors, and babysitters. Common rules that encourage pool safety and can prevent pool disasters include:
- Always walk, don’t run.
- Never swim alone.
- No diving.
- No pushing or “rough-housing”, even for play.
- Children always need permission and supervision to go in or around the pool.
Always Supervise Children
It is very important to always make sure children are under close supervision when they are in or around the pool. Even looking away for just a minute can have deadly consequences. A small child can drown in less than 2 inches of water (meaning even a kiddie pool can be a drowning hazard), and a child can be submerged under water within 10 seconds, lose consciousness in under 2 minutes, and can sustain permanent brain damage or die within 3 to 6 minutes. When there are children in or around the pool there should always be an adult (not an older child) watching over them, without losing sight of them, and within an arm’s reach.
Use Pool Toys Sparingly
Pool toys come in many shapes, sizes, and forms – from the small innertube floatie to the large lounge floatie, diving sticks, pool noodles, and squirt guns, the options seem to be just about endless for ways to add fun to your day in the pool. It is okay to use pool toys while in the pool, but make sure the amount and sizes of the toys being used are minimized enough to where your view of everyone in the pool is not obstructed at any time. And remember floatable rafts are not very steady so make sure to keep an eye out for anyone falling off a raft or flipping over and ensure they don’t get stuck under the raft.
Keep Up With Pool Maintenance
Keeping up with pool maintenance is extremely important when it comes to pool safety. It is important to make sure that your pool maintains the right levels of chemicals, circulation, and filtration, and that it is regularly cleaned and sanitized to prevent earaches, rashes, and other diseases from developing. Because the chemicals used to clean and maintain the pool can be dangerous when used improperly or ingested, you should also make sure they are properly stored out of reach of children when they are not being used.
Invest In Pool Safety Equipment
There are many different types of pool safety equipment that can be used, and every pool should be equipped with at least some of the basics. Make sure young children and inexperienced swimmers use life vests when in the pool. Investing in basic pool safety equipment just might be the best life-saving investment you ever make.
If your home has its own pool in the backyard you definitely want to be able to make the best use of it and enjoy it, so make sure you keep these safety tips in mind and you and your family can enjoy the pool all year long. It is also important to make sure that following safety tips also includes proper homeowners’ insurance coverage that extends to accidents or harm that may occur during the use of your pool. Speak with an independent insurance agent today to ensure your homeowners’ insurance includes coverage for your pool and any accidents that can occur near or in it.