Hot weather can be a drag, but if you have your own swimming pool or access to one nearby, it can be an enjoyable and relaxing way to cool off. However, while they may be loads of fun, swimming pools can also be a dangerous place, particularly for children. Keep the following safety tips in mind whenever you head out for a dip in the pool.
Get The Proper Equipment
A major part of swimming pool safety is having the proper equipment around. That includes everything from products needed to keep the pool clean to those used for life preservation. Here’s what you need:
- Flotation ring: This is the life-saving ring that’s usually hanging nearby at any local swimming pool. If you don’t have one at your home pool, be sure you have some kind of similar life preservation device nearby. All flotation rings should be in a location where they are easy to access, and they should be light enough for someone to easily throw out into the pool.
- Life jackets: Anyone who can’t swim or who struggles to swim on their own need a life jacket. Children who are pretty good swimmers should still wear flotation devices of some sort (like the ones that are strapped around the arms) until they become strong swimmers.
- Fence: Consider putting a fence up around an outdoor pool. A child-proof gate should be included in your fencing. Many pool owners also consider setting an alarm on their pool fence, especially when there are children around.
- Drain covers: Loose clothing or hair can get caught in drains and could potentially cause someone to drown. Have covers installed over drains to prevent this.
- First aid kit: Make sure this is in an easily accessible spot and is fully stocked.
- Water cleaning products: Most pools use some sort of chemicals or other mixture to help keep the water clean. In addition, you need a net to scoop any extraneous items like leaves or debris from the water. Outdoor pools should be covered when not in use to keep the water clean and safe.
Practice Water Safety
Whether you’re using your own pool or visiting a public swimming pool, it’s important to know basic water safety procedures. These skills could help save a life when you’re at the pool. Here are some things you should know before going for a swim:
- Swimming lessons: Anyone who doesn’t know how to swim should take lessons, especially children.
- CPR and first aid: Learn how to perform CPR on adults and children and learn the basics of first aid. Have your skills updated regularly, particularly if you have your own pool or go to one without a lifeguard.
- Supervision: All children need to be constantly supervised while swimming, even if they are normally good swimmers.
Have Fun Safely
Pools can be a lot of fun, especially for kids. However, it’s important to remember that there are still ways to get hurt even when you’re in the water. Additionally, there are rules that should always be followed. Here are some ways to have fun safely when you’re in a swimming pool:
- Don’t run: Never run when near a pool. Always walk slowly when you are close to the pool and watch out for slippery places on the edges.
- Don’t push: Never push someone else into the pool from the edge. It’s also unsafe to jump on someone in the pool since you could push them underwater. When playing games, don’t get too rough and be respectful of everyone else in the pool.
- Diving: Never dive into the shallow end of the pool. Always make sure that others are aware when you plan to jump in and that you will be entering the water at least a few feet away from everyone else.
- Food: Never eat or drink in the pool. Don’t chew gum in the pool either since you could swallow it and choke. Avoid drinking alcohol before entering the pool. If you are eating near the pool, all dishes and cups should be made of plastic and not glass. When swimming outdoors, be sure to drink plenty of water so you don’t get dehydrated.
- Pool toys: Use pool toys according to their instructions. Pool toys should not be used or relied on as flotation devices.
- Respect the lifeguard: Always follow the instructions of the lifeguard on duty. If there is no lifeguard, then follow instructions given to you by the owner of the pool.
- Weather: Don’t swim outdoors during a storm. Never swim at night unless the pool is very well lit.
Any swimming pool can be a safe and fun place when the above rules are followed. Always use your best judgment to avoid a dangerous situation in the water. Above all, make sure that children are always supervised and equipped with the proper flotation devices.