Whether you own a pool or have one in your neighborhood, understanding pool safety is a must when kids and pets are around. Use these pool safety tips to avoid accidents and lawsuits, both of which can have devastating consequences.
Install Secure Fencing Around the Pool Area
It is required by law in most places, but even if not, you should still install secure fencing around your pool. This prevents neighborhood kids and pets from using your pool or falling in without supervision. The fence should have a gate that locks when no one is there to watch over the pool.
Employ Alarms and Covers When the Pool Is Not in Use
For additional security, consider adding an alarm to your pool area that will alert you to trespassers or kids in the family using the pool when they shouldn’t. You can use a DIY alarm on the gate or work with a professional security company for a more sophisticated alarm, including one integrated with cameras.
Covering your pool when not in use can also prevent unwanted incidents. According to the CDC, drowning is the greatest cause of death, next to birth defects, in children ages one to four in the US. In that same age group, only vehicle crashes are a larger cause of accidental death. Automatic covers make it easy to use this added level of protection.
Don’t Leave Home Doors Open to the Pool Area Without Supervision
If your home opens to a pool area in the backyard, take extra caution with your doors. Close and lock doors when you aren’t using the pool, and use screen doors if you need air. It just takes a second for a toddler to wander outside and fall into the pool. Pets can be equally vulnerable. Don’t rely on baby gates, as children and animals can learn to climb over them.
Teach Kids About Pool Safety
Instructing children about safety around pools isn’t just for people who own them, although that should certainly be done. If you have kids and a pool anywhere in your neighborhood, follow these precautions to prevent disaster:
Maintain a strict rule of no swimming without adults present. If you need to leave the pool area, everyone must exit the pool until you return.
Don’t allow your kids to swim in neighbors’ pools when they aren’t home. Impress on them that peer pressure is no excuse.
Know the parents who are hosting pool parties, and make sure alcohol or other substances don’t interfere with their ability to properly supervise.
Sign up your kids for swimming lessons, and make sure everyone over a certain age knows basic lifesaving classes, parents included.
Practice lifesaving drills if you own a pool and always keep lifesaving equipment poolside in case of emergency.
With extra effort from adults, everyone can reduce preventable drowning deaths and accidents that result in liability. It starts with you and your family.