The sun is out, the birds are chirping, and the summer heat is moving in. It’s almost that time again—for luxurious hours in the sun by the pool. But before you get too excited, it’s also time to make sure you’ve brushed up on your pool safety. So whether you have a pool in your backyard, in the community, or you go to a local one in the area, get prepared so that you can have the safest summer possible.
The first thing you can do to keep the kids and families safe in your community during pool time is to keep yourself up-to-date on the latest lifesaving techniques. This includes learning the latest and greatest CPR techniques, as well as first aid and general lifesaving techniques. To stay educated, find local classes in your community regarding CPR and first aid. To find one nearest you, visit the American Heart Association website or contact the Red Cross. Many local agencies such as the YMCA, fire department, and police station may also be able to point you in the right direction.
If you spend time at a local pool in your community, it's important to stay as safe as possible. Pools in most housing communities are much like residential pools, in the way that they don’t have any lifeguards or extra safety features. Many of them have a first aid kit, directions for what to do in case of an emergency, and a lifesaving floatation device. Make sure that you and everyone you take to the pool is well aware of what to do in the case that someone gets hurt or needs emergency assistance. In community pools without a lifeguard, it's also important to stay educated about CPR and first aid procedures.
Residential pools can be a lot of fun, but also quite dangerous. Especially if you have small children in your home or the neighborhood, it's important to keep the pool area secured and off-limits at all times. Ensure that the pool is enclosed by a fence at least 4 feet tall with self-closing latches that close the doors/gates all the way after someone uses them. Keep children in your home or neighborhood educated about pool safety, which includes the important rule that no children should be near the pool unsupervised at any time. Make sure that all pool pipes and pumps are up to code, and that all drains have strong, adequate covers to prevent little ones from getting stuck in these areas. Lifesaving equipment should always be in working order and in the same spot, ready to go in case of an emergency.
Create a Safety Kit
To create an extra safe pool space, a safety kit is very important to have around. This kit should include a first aid kit with bandages, gauze, and alcohol swabs for cuts, scrapes, and bumps. Some other things to include would be a pair of scissors to cut hair or clothing that may get stuck in drains or other areas that suction, and an extra floatation device. Always make sure to have a charged cell phone or portable phone with you at the pool as well in case of an emergency.
The Little Things
Other ways to stay safe at the pool include always wearing sunscreen to protect your skin and wearing appropriate shoes that are slip-proof in the pool area. Also, establish rules with children regarding safety, such as running, jumping into the pool, and pushing or grabbing onto other people in the water. Always ensure that anyone who cannot swim well has a floatation device with them or on them while in the water. By creating a set of rules and a system that keeps everyone safe, pool time will be that much more fun, all summer long.