Seven easy to follow tips to keep your pool safe for children, pets, and everyone.
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Having a pool can greatly improve your enjoyment of your home, but you need to use it responsibly. Not only does a pool create dangers for your own kids, but it also creates dangers for visitors as well as wandering neighbors. Here are seven tips to make sure your pool stays safe this summer.
Always Closely Supervise Children
Keep a close eye on children any time they are around the pool. Being close by doing yard work, making a phone call, or going to the bathroom isn't enough. A child can easily drown before you realize that something is wrong. If you're having a pool party or have a few adults over, take turns being the lifeguard who is responsible for keeping their undivided attention on making sure the kids stay safe.
Never Swim Alone
Supervision isn't just for kids. An adult could also easily tire out or suffer a medical emergency. Even if you're a strong swimmer and feel fine, you're placing yourself at risk every time you swim with no one around to help you if the unexpected happens.
Keep The Pool Area Secure
Make sure children can't get into your pool when it's not in use. This could be a fence, a screened enclosure, or virtually any other barrier, but it must be high enough that they can't climb over it and all doors must have childproof locks. Any doors to a pool area should also close themselves to keep a child from getting in if someone forgets to close it. Finally, never leave toys in the pool area so there isn't something encouraging a kid to try to beat your safety measures. You may also want to consider an alarm that sounds when the water is disturbed.
Be Ready For An Emergency
Know what you'd do in an emergency before it happens to avoid panicking. CPR lessons are valuable in all areas of life, but can be especially useful if you have your own pool and no trained life guards around. Being able to give emergency care is vital when seconds count and emergency responders are minutes away. Also have a phone and a first aid kit that you'd be able to quickly get to. Cordless phones aren't a good option because batteries die and they could be moved.
Make Sure Everyone Can Swim
Teach your children to swim as early as possible. Older adults who can't swim probably won't unexpectedly fall in, but it is good if they are as comfortable in the water as possible. One thing to note is that a non-swimmer should never supervise children around a pool because they wouldn't be able to provide help. Also make sure your pets are able to get out of the pool. Most animals are born knowing how to swim, but may need encouragement to get comfortable in the water and will need to be trained to find the steps so that they can climb out of the water.
Be sure to establish clear rules for using the pool and being around it. Make sure kids know to never go in without permission. Don't allow running in the pool area. Set a no diving rule and make sure kids know how to safely jump in to avoid the shallow end of the pool, the sides of the pool, and any steps.
Watch Out For Lightning
Lightning is a danger in home pools even if they are in an enclosed patio. Water conducts electricity, so make sure everyone is out of the water if a storm is approaching. Even if it hasn't started raining yet, if you hear thunder, lightning is probably close enough to strike.
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