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Pool Safety Tips for the Summer

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Nothing beats the dog days of summer better than taking a dip in your pool. For so many families, swimming pools and spas are great for spending time together having fun and even getting in some exercise as the same time! However, with all the fun and sun during the summer, it's important to stay safe.

Prepare yourself

Being prepared is one of the most important parts of water safety. It's vital for adults and children to learn to swim before entering the water, whether it be a pool or a spa. While knowing how to swim is no guarantee to being safe, it's the most basic level of water safety.

Swimming lessons for children provide skills and knowledge that are necessary to be safer in the water. For adults, swimming lessons can help build more confidence to become a good role model for their children.

Organizations like the YMCA and the American Red Cross often offer swimming classes for children and adults.

Water safety skills

  • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim

  • Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults and update those skills regularly

  • Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency

Residential swimming pools

Knowing many water safety steps is the best way to assure a safe and fun experience in a home pool or spa. Parents and families can build on their current safety practices by adding some water safety ones as well.
  • Stay close by and be alert. Always watch your children when they are in or near a pool or spa. A child can drown is as little time as it takes to answer a phone.

  • Teach your children basic water safety tips.

  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.

  • Keep a portable phone or cell phone near you when you or your family is using the pool.

  • Remove ladders whenever possible when the pool is not in use – it reduces the risk of children climbing in unsupervised.

Have appropriate equipment

Having the proper equipment can make the difference between a safe and unsafe experience.
  • Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa area and use self-closing and self-latching gates.

  • Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.

  • If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install door alarms and always use them.
    • For additional protection install window alarms on any windows that face or overlook the pool and spa area.

  • Ensure any pool or spa has compliant drain covers.

  • Maintain your pool and spa covers and make sure they're in good working order.

Community pools

Many families visit indoor and outdoor public pools and spas during the warmer months, but it is just as important to be mindful of safety when visiting these areas.
  • Is there a lifeguard on duty? Is there enough staff to monitor the pool area when it's in heavy use?

  • Are there fences that limit access to the pool and spa?

  • Has the pool been inspected to ensure it is compliant with federal and local laws and regulations?

  • Are there new safety drain covers being used in compliance with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act?

  • Do the pool and spa pumps appear to be running?

  • Is there life-saving equipment such as life rings and reaching poles available for use?
If an emergency happens, it's essential that adults are prepared. This means knowing how to turn off the pool or spa pump if a suction entrapment should occur and where to immediately find rescue equipment including a long-handled hook, a buoy or flotation device with an attached line.

Call 911 in case of emergency and be prepared to administer CPR, apply bandages to cuts and scrapes or any other first aid while emergency services are on the way.

Ana M. Ferrer  Posted by Ana M. Ferrer on April 11, 2014

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