Safety Comes First
Swimming is not only fun, it is terrific exercise. In addition, a pool can set the scene for hours of quality family time, as well as playtime with friends.
However, having a pool is also a huge responsibility.
If you have a pool, you have a responsibility to safeguard it. There is no substitute for vigilant supervision. But there are additional steps you can and should take — including these:
1. Always have an adult nearby. Even if you’re a great swimmer, you never know when you might need help.
2. Set a good example so younger kids know how to behave. The pool is only safe when EVERYONE follows the rules.
3. Check the water depth. You don’t want to get hurt diving into water that’s too shallow.
4. Always wear sunscreen. Without it, you could end up with painful sunburn, which can lead to other health problems.
5. No running! You could slip or trip — hurting not just yourself, but someone else as well.
6. Put toys away. People might trip over them and hurt themselves. No one wants that!
7. Barricade the pool completely. Experts recommend a fence of at least four feet tall, with slats close enough together that kids can’t squeeze between them. Make sure there are no handholds or footholds for agile climbers.
8. Secure the gate with a lock. The best gates are self-closing and self-latching. Position the latches well out of reach of children. Install an audible gate alarm that will alert you inside the house if the gate is opened.
10. In your home, secure doors and windows leading to the pool, so kids don’t have access from inside the house.
11. Keep potential “step stools” away from the fence. That means storing patio chairs, planters, and other climbable items away from your outside perimeter. Remove pool steps and ladders when you’re not using them.
12. Keep rescue equipment by the pool.
Be safe and have fun!