Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children between the ages of 1 and 4 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hundreds of young lives are lost each year in residential pools. Taking precautions and following swimming pool safety guidelines like the ones outlined below will reduce the risk of injury or death in a pool.
The Basics of Swimming Pool Safety
The American Red Cross recommends that homeowners enclose their pool with a fence that has a self-latching gate and an alarm that sounds when the gate is opened. The latch should be out of the reach of children. Adding alarms to your home’s exterior doors will keep your home secure and sound an alert if children leave the house.
Stay on top of routine pool maintenance and secure steps or ladders that provide access to the water. For extra safety, install a lockable cover over the water and anti-entrapment drain covers inside the pool.
Rules for Swimming Pool Safety
In addition to the above safety features, homeowners should establish rules for safe usage with all members of their family or guests who use the pool. These rules include:
- Staying away from the drains
- Always swimming with a partner
- Never swimming while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Supervising minors who use the pool
Designate an adult to supervise the pool any time it is in use. The few moments it takes to reach the water to help a struggling swimmer may mean the difference between life and death.
Make sure that everyone who uses your pool knows how to swim. Swimming lessons help people become confident swimmers and increase pool safety. Less experienced swimmers should use life vests and flotation devices when they are in or near the water.
Keep a life preserver in an easy-to-access place near the pool. Adults in the home should take first aid and CPR classes at a local community college to be prepared for an emergency situation. Refresh your training every three years to keep your knowledge current.
Following these pool safety guidelines will help to prevent accidents around the water this summer.