Summer is the season where most fun activities are held outside in the sun and one of the most popular activities is a splash in the pool with friends and family. Unfortunately, accidents in the swimming pool can happen very suddenly and without warning since it is quite common to develop a cramp underwater or people hitting their head while diving. As drowning often results in serious injury and death in children, it is critical that you are prepared and knowledgeable of all dangers that come with owning a backyard oasis. To make sure everyone is having a great experience and safe splash in your pool, we have put together some safety precautions from installing devices to tips on proper pool behaviour for you to follow.
No matter how shallow your pool might be on one end, always make sure that the children who play in it have enrolled in swimming lessons. Do not rely on pool noodles and water wings as it is inevitable to supervise the kids all the time. If you’re lucky enough to have multiple adults around, take turns in watching them to prevent lapses in supervision. If someone notices a child missing, always check the pool bottom first before searching other parts of the house or backyard.
When you and your family and friends are using the pool, always make sure you have a telephone and a first aid kit close by. Many pool owners also have an alarm bell at hand to summon help in case of emergency. As drowning can happen in an instant, it is advisable to learn to perform CPR on both adults and children and update those skills regularly to be able to react to an accident instantly while the ambulance is on its way.
As children between the ages 1 to 4 are at greatest risk for drowning, we recommend installing a fence completely around your pool and a lockable safety cover to prevent access to the water for the times you are not planning to swim are able to supervise. Such barriers provide extra time and are also advised to get installed around spas, whirlpools and hot tubs. If you have an above-ground pool, lock the steps or remove the ladder entirely when the pool is not in use to protect children from falling into.
There should be a ladder at both ends of the pool, all equipped with handrails on each side and small enough for a child to grasp. When planning the Swimming pool, talk to your pool builder to use non-slip materials on the pool deck and ladders. If you have a deep end, mark the spot where the bottom slope deepens with a safety float line. Since you are the host, it is inevitable to check pool and equipment regularly for cleanliness and maintenance. Broken ladders and railings should be repaired instantly and all sharp edges and bolts covered to prevent painful cuts.
Before you open the pool season in your backyard, it is wise to establish and enforce rules and safe behaviours such as: no child should ever be in the pool without supervision, there should be no rough playing and running on the deck, no jumping off the deck when the pool is crowded and when using water slides feet always go first. Especially when hosting a pool party, always make sure that electrical devices such as speakers are out of the pool area to prevent the hazard of electrical shock. And of course, never allow your guests to enter the pool after drinking alcohol, heavy eating or taking medications.