Estimates put the number of home swimming pools above 10 million in the United States. Looking at online satellite map views of your neighborhood would likely reveal an abundance of above-ground and in-ground swimming pools of all types, shapes, and sizes. From the smallest to the largest backyard swimming pools for families, there are common safety measures that should be in place. Here are the best four swimming pool safety tips for your family to use.
Nothing helps pool safety better than every family member knowing how to swim. This includes being able to swim in water that they cannot stand up in. Swimming lessons should include training in how to avoid panic and completing lifesaving maneuvers to be able to keep above water and control breathing. Swimming lessons should also include swimming safety instruction for how to handle accidental immersion, such as falling into a swimming pool while fully clothed and understanding the shock of cold water and hypothermia from falling into water during a cool or cold off-season.
Structural Pool Safety Measures
Most would just think of fencing and gates around pools as being a structural safety measure and this is partially correct. However, it also includes approved drain covers and safety covers that can support the weight of an adult during the off-season. All access to a swimming pool should be controlled. Temporary above-ground swimming pools may be protected from access by small children by simply removing and locking the ladder to a fixed object nearby. Other above-ground pools may be secured by an elevated deck with stairs and a locking gate. In-ground pools are usually protected by fencing and locking gates. If an exit door to the home opens into the pool area, it should be controlled by a keyed deadbolt or electronic lock.
Electronic Pool Safety Measures
Electronic pool safety measures include cameras, lighting, and alarms. Swimming pool areas can be protected by cameras that detect motion which then will send a text alert to a smartphone when any unauthorized activity is detected in the area of the swimming pool. There are also devices that can be installed to detect whenever a child, pet, or adult enters the water. The devices can alert with a siren at the detector, as well as in a remote location. These devices can be a real lifesaver. Gate and door alarms should also be installed. There is even a wearable device that small children can wear that will alert using radio waves if the wearable is submersed in water. Adequate pool lighting is useful for sight inspections to make sure nothing is amiss in the swimming pool area.
Lifesaving Training and Devices
Swimming pools can be a fun place to gather in the summer. They are often a central feature for backyard barbecues and family activities when the sun is bright and the temperatures are hot. However, it is important to take pool safety seriously. Adults should be trained in CPR. This is useful knowledge for everyday life, whether one has a swimming pool or not. The CPR course should include infant and child CPR training as well. In addition, pool safety devices such as stairs instead of, or in addition to, a ladder can also be helpful for children or pets getting out if they fall in. All non-swimming children should be required to wear inflatable swim training aids and a throwable personal flotation device (life ring) should be mounted nearby the pool. Pool deep ends should be clearly marked.
Whether it is a child’s toys, motor vehicles, or swimming pools, nothing is inherently safe. Most everything comes with user instructions and warnings. A swimming pool is no different. Safety relies on being able to swim, as well as avoiding slip-and-fall and diving accidents. Therefore, running, excessive horseplay, and diving should be absolutely prohibited. Only specialty home swimming pools are equipped for diving. A responsible adult should always monitor swimmers when the pool is in use.