7 Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe Around the Pool

Posted on Jul 31, 2018

Backyard swimming pools make summer fun possible for many families. In some instances, it’s the only escape from sometimes oppressive summer heat.

Unfortunately, the American Red Cross reports that nearly 200 children drown each year in backyard swimming pools.

These tips can help keep your children, and others, safe if you have a backyard swimming pool.

1) Install a Fence Around Your Pool

To be an effective barrier, the fence should be at least four feet high, surround all sides of the pool, and have gates that are self-closing and self-latching. Make sure the latch is above your child’s reach.

Not only does the pool area need to be separate from the yard where your children play, but it also needs to be separate from the house, so your children can’t simply wander outside and into the pool.

2) Teach Your Children to Swim

While the ability to swim is no substitute for attentive adult supervision, this knowledge can help prevent drowning and save lives. With The Washington Post reporting that drowning is the leading preventable cause of death among children between the ages of one and four, it is worth investing the time, effort, and expense in teaching your children to swim.

More importantly, you must know how to swim so you can save the life of a child in distress in the water. If you don’t feel confident of your skills in the pool, take lessons for yourself sooner rather than later.

3) Supervise Your Children in the Pool

There is no substitute for vigilant supervision when it comes to preventing accidental drowning. This means actively watching children in the pool.

This also means you should not be sunbathing, napping, texting, or engaged in any other activity when you the adult in charge of supervising your child (or other people’s children) in the pool. According to the Charlotte Observer, 67 percent of fatal drownings occur while a parent was responsible for supervising the child.

4) Monitor Behavior and Activities Around the Pool

Accidents that involve running around the pool, bicycling around the pool, skateboarding by the pool, etc. can be recipes for disaster. It only takes a split second for the unthinkable to occur.

Keep playthings that don’t belong in the pool away from the pool to prevent this type of accident and make sure your children aren’t roughhousing and running by the pool.

5) Learn CPR

Prevention will always be the best cure. The goal is to prevent the need to ever know this lifesaving skill. However, if you have a swimming pool and have children in your home or who visit your home, it is an essential skill that can save lives.

6) Establish Iron-Clad Safety Rules

More importantly, make no exceptions. Ever. Important rules to consider, include rules like these and others you feel are appropriate for your situation:

  • No one swims alone. In fact, you may want to ensure that no one swims without someone who has been appropriately trained in life-saving techniques present.
  • No diving in the shallow end of the pool.
  • No running around the pool.
  • No glass around the pool.
  • No electronics within so many feet of the pool (including mobile phones).

Rules save lives even when they aren’t popular with all the restless natives. You will have to make rules according to your concerns over safety, the age of your children, and the lifestyle your family leads. It is better to have a few too many rules, however, than to have one too few.

7) Install Appropriate Safety Features

Safety features play important roles in keeping your pool a fun place for everyone to enjoy. Pools do pose safety risks to people of all ages. These safety features aren’t just for children who swim and should not be overlooked or ignored even in homes that do not have small children.

  • Pool alarms
  • Gate alarms
  • Anti-entrapment drain covers
  • Appropriate life-saving equipment (life-preservers, ropes, reaching poles, rescue hooks, etc.)

These seven tips are here to help you have more summer fun in your backyard pool. Use them well to protect the safety of your family while enjoying a nice dip in your pool this summer.

All of us here at Otterstedt Insurance Agency hope you and your family have a safe and enjoyable summer.

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