Swimming Pool Safety Tips
Guest post by Katie Tejada
Owning a pool is a goal most homeowners aspire to, but in their dreams of creating a private urban oasis, they often forget to envision the safety concerns that go along with owning their backyard retreat. According to the CDC, an average of ten people daily are the victims of unintentional drowning, one-in-five of which are children under 14 years of age. Drowning, however, is far from the only threat faced by pool owners, but tragedy doesn’t have to ruin your private water wonderland. Here are some safety tips to help you avoid hazards in your pool area.
1. Never Let Children or Pets Access the Pool Unsupervised
Even if your child is a good swimmer, they can become fatigued, get a dangerous muscle cramp, or suffer a catastrophic injury or medical event that leaves them at increased risk of drowning. Kids don’t always make the best decisions–especially in groups–and fun games can give way to dangerous horseplay. While no one should swim alone if possible, children shouldn’t be left unattended for any length of time in or around the pool, and they should know not to enter the area without an adult.
2. Install Safety Barriers
One of the easiest ways to prevent accidental drowning is to have safety fencing and safety pool covers professionally installed. Safety fencing is designed to prevent people and pets from inadvertently entering the pool area. Safety pool covers–unlike floating covers which can increase the risk of entrapment and drowning–provide a physical barrier above your pool’s surface that will not allow someone who stumbles into your pool to enter the water. Some cities, states, or HOAs may already require these safety features, but they’re a smart choice, even if they aren’t mandatory in your area.
3. Avoid Electricity Around the Pool
No cords or electrical accessories should be where they can easily fall into the pool or be splashed by pool water. One frayed wire can turn a puddle into an electrocution hazard, so any electrical equipment, such as lights and cover motor housings, should be located in a safe area, protected from any water infiltration, and be designed and rated for pool use.
4. Keep Physical Hazards Away
Glass containers don’t belong in a pool area. Shards can be practically invisible if they enter the water. In addition, loose cushions, over-abundant furniture, discarded towels, and toys can all represent tripping hazards, and around a pool, any tripping hazard becomes a drowning hazard.
5. Make Life-Saving Equipment Visible and Accessible
From emergency flotation devices to grab bars and pool pump cutoff switches, life-saving tools should be easily seen by those unfamiliar with your pool area and easy to get to. The life they save may be yours.
6. Learn First Aid and CPR
All pool owners and anyone who will be supervising children in the pool area should know what to do when an emergency happens. First aid will help you understand how to treat scrapes and minor cuts, while CPR will help you in the case of a near-drowning, choking, or cardiac event. Be sure you have the tools to use your skills by keeping a well-stocked, easily located first aid kit on hand as well.
A swimming pool can be the perfect addition to your home, and with a little planning and awareness, you can create a safe and a fun swimming experience for you, your family, and your friends.
Katie Tejada is a writer and content strategist, specializing in forward-looking design and renovation ideas for homeowners everywhere.