POOL SAFETY – PREVENTING DROWNING IN YOUR BACKYARD
Owning a swimming pool is a dream for many homeowners who want to beat the summer heat while also offering a cooling and refreshing activity for their children and themselves. There is nothing quite like walking out to the backyard and taking a dip in a personal swimming pool. Of course, such a privilege comes with great responsibility since drownings are a real threat in the presence of any body of water.
According to WebMD, children between the ages of one and four are at the greatest risk for fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data that shows that most of these drownings occur in residential swimming pools while adult drowning situations tend to occur in natural waters. Such numbers make it crucial that families that invest in personal swimming pools further commit to learning about and implementing every possible measure to keep their children, as well as anyone else near the swimming pool, safe.
LEARN ALL THE BASICS OF POOL SAFETY AND MORE TO PREVENT DROWNING IN YOUR BACKYARD
If you are considering building a swimming pool, or buying a home that has a swimming pool, it is essential that you learn everything possible about pool safety to keep your loved ones and yourself safe. The great news is that there are plenty of easy and practical ways to prevent drowning while everyone can still have fun splashing around in your backyard pool all summer long.
Here are eight tips to keep everyone safe around your swimming pool.
1. BE SURE EVERYONE NEAR THE SWIMMING POOL KNOWS HOW TO SWIM
If you have children and own a swimming pool, there is nothing more important than making sure they learn to swim as early as possible. Research from the CDC shows that participation in formal swimming lessons reduces the risk of drowning in that crucial one-to-four-year-old age group.
While adults should also know the basics of swimming when near water, you can at least express how crucial pool safety is to them and trust that they will stay away from the water if they do not have adequate swimming skills. Children, however, see their dreams come to life in that blue water and cannot resist its shimmery allure and potential for boundless fun, so if you ever want to let the kids take a dip, they need to at least learn swimming basics. Anyone who does not know how to swim should stay out of the swimming pool or wear life vests or arm floats.
2. INSTALL PROPER FENCING AND BARRIERS
Your own children are not the only ones at risk for drowning in your swimming pool, especially if you leave your pool unprotected. Neighborhood children will somehow come to know about your swimming pool, whether you have ever met them or not. You will become ” the family with the pool” that beckons to kids of all ages, so installing proper fencing and barriers to every entryway of your property is essential. For the best coverage, install a fence with a self-latching gate around your pool that is at least four feet tall. If kids can’t get in, they can’t drown.
3. NEVER LET ANYONE SWIM UNATTENDED
This pool safety tip is particularly true for children, but it really applies to anyone visiting your swimming pool area. Regardless of whether someone, child or adult, has taken swimming lessons, no one should swim without someone outside the pool available for possible assistance. Proficient swimmers have been known to get into trouble if they experience a cramp or lose consciousness for any reason, so it is important that an adult is on hand who can perform CPR and other lifesaving tasks, if needed.
4. INVEST IN UNDERWATER MOTION ALARMS
Even if you know your children are not near the swimming pool, you never know if a person or animal might make their way into your swimming pool. By investing in an underwater motion alarm, you will instantly know if the surface of the water has been disturbed by an object or body of any kind entering the water.
5. PROHIBIT USE OF ALCOHOL FOR ANYONE PLANNING TO SWIM
Although most drowning deaths in the U.S. involve young children, many other drownings can be attributed to alcohol consumption by adults who go swimming. Similar to drinking and driving not mixing; the same holds true for drinking and swimming. Postpone drinking until after leaving the pool area.
6. ENSURE PROPER CARE AND FUNCTIONING OF SUCTION COVERS AND DRAINS
Broken or improperly functioning drains and suction covers can cause real drowning risks for the most accomplished swimmers. Work with a local swimming pool maintenance and repair company to perform regular inspections of the drainage and suction areas, repairing or replacing broken or missing drain covers.
Also, make sure that everyone entering the pool understands that they are not to play with the drains and that they should pull long hair into ponytails and swimming caps to avoid any risks of becoming entangled. Asking everyone to remove loose jewelry is another way to help keep everyone safe, in case they swim in the vicinity of the drain.
7. EQUIP DOORS LEADING TO THE POOL AREA WITH ALARMS
Your backyard and side gates are not the only possible points of entry to your swimming pool. Your home interior is a direct gateway to potential swimming pool risk for your family, friends, neighbors and any other guests. If you own a swimming pool, it would be a wise investment to consider installing alarms that sound if doors to the pool area are opened.
According to The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), nearly 46% of children that drowned in their family’s backyard swimming pool were last seen inside the house before being found in the swimming pool. In as many as 15% of those cases, the children were believed to have been sleeping just prior to the incident. To be safe, make sure your children can’t wander around before you are awake to slip out of the house and into the pool area without your supervision.
8. BUY A HIGH-QUALITY POOL COVER
While summertime is peak swimming season, making it prime time for you to stay on high alert for pool safety, it is important to keep in mind that there are risks all throughout the year for swimming pool owners. A high-quality seasonal cover helps to do more than keep out debris. Anchored to the deck, raised walls or surrounding turf, your pool cover is meant to prevent accidental submersion of anyone or anything that might go near your pool, including friends, family, pets and wildlife.
We hope these tips will help you enjoy a safe and happy summer in your backyard swimming pool. If you live in the Southeast Houston area and would like to keep your pool clean and clear all throughout the summer, contact us for more information about our chemical treatment options as one more measure to keep everyone safe and healthy.