Backyard pools are indeed great places for family fun. It offers an ideal spot to take a refreshing dip on a lazy, sizzling summer day. However, your private “oasis” can be a big safety hazard, especially for kids. One thing about kids is that they are fearless, move quickly, and like to get into anything. Hence, they can hit the pool and drown long before you realize it.
For the record, drowning is among the leading causes of preventable deaths in kids under five years. So, the earlier you act, the more you can have peace of mind knowing your kids are safe.
Backyard pool safety tips for this summer
Well, adults are not in the safe zone either, as drowning knows no age. So, besides kids, some of the backyard pool safety tips provided also apply to adults.
Install proper barriers on and around the pool
Ok, swimming pool barriers come in different. It can be a fence or some kind of pool cover.
Well, there’s an adequate minimum for the height of the fence. I recommend at least four feet high, surrounding the pool on all sides. Essentially, you want to ensure it’s not climbable for kids. In the case of an above-ground pool, build the fence higher or remove the ladders and steps leading to it. Also, it would be wise to teach your kids not to climb over the fence. Again, ensure the only access to the pool is a self-closing gate for additional security.
A pool cover pretty much acts as a second barrier. For this, I recommend a more rigid, motorized pool cover that blocks access to the pool when not in use.
Well, an alarm system isn’t a barrier perse. Still, it alerts you when someone opens the door leading from the house to the pool. Alternatively, you can install floating or underwater pool alarm systems. It uses motion detection that alerts you when anyone falls or jumps into the pool. Personally, I think it’s more effective if you install both the door and water alarm systems.
Perform daily inspection for slip hazards
When not in use, always inspect the pool to ensure it’s free of floats, toys, tubes, and safety equipment. Kids and adults alike can trip on such objects and fall into the water. Always, I think it would be a good idea to always store them away from the pool after use.
Inspect drain covers
Suction entrapment from faulty drain covers is pretty common. So, ensure the drain cover in your backyard pool meets the safety standards. Not only that, ensure it doesn’t have cracks or missing screws. Also, teach your kids to stay away from drains or suction outlets.
Store pool chemicals safely
Pool chemicals are essential for killing disease-causing germs. They can, however, lead to injury if kids come across them. Hence, I recommend keeping it out of reach, preferably in a locked, well-ventilated area.
Have rescue and first aid equipment at the ready
Ensure you have rescue equipment nearby. It can be a rescue tube, life hook, or life ring. Not only should it be easily accessible but also clearly marked an in good condition. Well, the same goes for the first aid kit. You should have it handy, ensuring it’s fully stocked with all essentials.
I think it will be better to have the right rescue equipment as well as life-saving skills. As such, it will be a good idea to learn how to perform CPR on kids and adults. Classes are available for such in hospitals or community centers. Also, organizations, such as Red Cross and fire departments, offer CPR certification courses.
Teach your kids how to swim
It’s pretty much a no-brainer. Still, most parents tend to ignore it. I think teaching your kid how to swim is perhaps the best way to keep them safe from drowning. It’s not only a life-saving skill but also fun. Well, you can teach them or enroll them in swimming lessons.
Never leave your kid unattended in or near the water
Close supervision is essential whenever your child is in or near the water. But should you have a busy schedule, ensure to appoint an official water watcher. As a water watcher, you shouldn’t engage in other activities, such as texting, reading, or playing. Your only task should be to supervise your child in the water. And in the event that your child goes missing, always check the pool first.
Set pool rules
Educate your kids on acceptable pool conduct. Also, create a list that pretty much covers all basic pool rules. It should include rules, such as no running or pushing in the pool area.
Overcrowding can sometimes lead to over excitement. Also, adult supervision won’t be as effective since you have many kids to keep an eye on. That said, you should limit the number of kids using the pool at any one time to avoid overcrowding.
But how do you go about that?
Well, pool rules recommend at least 15 square feet of pool area per person. It is slightly less for kids, say 12 square feet.
Remove toys from the water after use
Kids have a soft spot for toys. Well, pool toys are no exception. They can go to any lengths just to get them in their hands. And by leaving toys in the water, your child might fall in trying to retrieve them. So, it’s good practice to always keep the pool water free of toys after use.
Avoid alcohol in the pool area
Now, this applies primarily to adults. Getting drunk near a pool is a fast and sure ticket to drowning. To stay safe, avoid drinking alcohol when swimming or supervising your children.
Well, that wraps it all for backyard pool safety tips. As you can see, it’s no rocket science. The rules are pretty simple but can save you and your family big time. And it’s not a thing only for backyard pools. You can employ some of these safety tips on public pools alike.