May is Water Safety Month, and with so many pools opening up this time of year, it’s an ideal time to go over some pool safety tips. Whether or not you are a new fiberglass pool owner, keeping people safe in and around bodies of water is a critical part of enjoying the summer. Here are some tips to remember any time you are around pools.
Tips To Stay Safe Inside the Pool
- Get to know the abilities of the swimmers in your group. If anyone in your group doesn’t know how to swim, make sure they are closely supervised. Encourage inexperienced swimmers to learn how to swim. And don’t rely too much on floats or toys to support inexperienced swimmers. They are not lifesaving devices.
- Don’t try something you are uncomfortable with just because others are doing it. Sometimes, it can be fun to show off, especially if there’s a diving board. Ensure no one is entering or swimming in water that’s too deep for their ability. Let them know that there’s plenty of room for fun towards the shallow end.
- Don’t play games that involve jumping in or holding your breath. Your pool has specific entry points for a reason. The safest way to use a pool is to enter through those designated entry spots (even if this interferes with your grand game plans). Games that require you to hold your breath can be dangerous, and it’s best to avoid them. There are plenty of other spectacular pool games you can play that keep you safer.
- Avoid suction drains. Getting too close to a suction drain could potentially lead to entrapment and make it difficult to resurface from underwater. It’s best to keep hair, clothing, and body parts away from these and let them do their job cleaning your pool.
- Only allow toys made for pools. There are plenty of pool toys out there that are cute, fun, and functional. Heavy toys that aren’t designed for floating in pools can be dangerous, so keep them out! It’s also essential to remove all toys from the pool when kids have finished swimming. Often, children who fall into the pool reach down into it to grab a toy that has caught their attention.
- Make sure your pool meets all the necessary code requirements. Your pool dealer is an excellent resource for making sure your pool project meets all of the code requirements in your local area.
- Don’t swim alone if possible. If an accident occurs, it’s always helpful to have someone else around who can assist you.
Safety Tips While Outside the Pool
- Walk. Don’t run. While some pools provide non-slip textured surfaces within the pool, the decking area surrounding it may still be very slippery (especially with wet feet). Take your time and proceed with caution when outside of the pool area.
- Enter the pool feet first. It’s all too easy to hit your head or sustain other injuries when entering the pool any other way, so feet first is always best.
- Install a fence around your pool. Having a fence around the pool can stop people and animals from making their way into the pool unsupervised. While some areas don’t require fences, if you have an automatic safety cover, it’s always best to incorporate multiple layers of protection.
- Use a safety cover when the pool is not in use. Safety covers prevent unsupervised swimmers from entering the pool and help keep out objects that could damage the pool itself. Plus, it can help keep your pool clean when not in use.
- Consider getting equipment to monitor the pool (i.e., safety cameras). Just like those doorbell systems that monitor your porch, there are cameras you can install to monitor the pool. You might think of the backyard pool safety camera as a “baby monitor” for the pool. You can use these devices to monitor your pool area when away from home or at night.
- Put away anything that could be a tripping hazard. Pool toys not in use, pool equipment, hoses-any objects lying around on your decking area can cause someone to trip, so be mindful of this possibility and keep walking paths clear.
Water safety is always important for pool owners, no matter what month it is. Unfortunately, we’ve heard the stories of parents looking away at the exact wrong time and having accidents happen. Because of that, we find it crucial to answer, “why is pool safety important?” There are plenty of tools to help pool owners, but we can never substitute them for adult supervision when children are around. Your eyes are the first line of safety when kids are involved.
If you would like a resource to help teach family members about swimming pool safety rules, Thursday Pools has a pool safety eBook you can download for free.