May is when many public pools open for the season. It’s also when many homeowners get their own pools ready for the summer. For that reason, this month is designated as National Water Safety Month.
Even if you consider yourself and your loved ones to be experienced swimmers, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind when you spend time in or around a pool.
- When children are in the pool, stay alert. Don’t be distracted by your phone, a book or talking to a friend. Keep an eye on all children in the pool and be sure that they understand basic pool safety before they ever get in the water.
- Keep a phone nearby. In the case of an emergency, you don’t want to run through the house trying to find your cell phone. Keep it dry and in a safe place near the water should an emergency arise.
- Have the right kind of equipment for your pool. Install a pool alarm to warn you if a child or animal is getting close to the water. Also, be sure you install the right type of fence around your pool. The height of fencing you need will depend on your city’s building codes, but it generally needs to be 4 feet or higher.
- Know how to do CPR. Understanding how to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) could help you potentially save someone’s life. Many local health departments and emergency response services offer CPR training courses throughout the year.
- Clean your pool regularly. This will help to ensure that the water is safe to swim in. Bacteria and algae can quickly accumulate in your pool environment, and it can cause a variety of problems, such as skin rash, earaches or more serious medical problems.
- Teach children to stay away from drains and pipes. These can be dangerous to play around, and doing so may involve a child getting trapped. Make sure that you have the right type of drain cover installed. If you don’t know what’s right for your pool, contact the company who installed it.
- Take swimming classes. Regardless of whether you are a beginner or expert swimmer, look for classes to help you improve your skills.
- Enforce a “do not run” policy around the pool. Surfaces around the pool can quickly become wet when people are swimming. Reduce the risk of injury by making sure everyone in and around the pool environment understand that running is not allowed.
- Don’t dive. Be sure that swimmers understand that diving into your pool could be dangerous in areas where the water isn’t very deep. To avoid serious injury, enforce a “don’t dive” policy.
- Share safety instructions with friends and neighbors. If people other than your family will be using the pool, be sure that everyone understands how to safely swim.
Have fun and be safe when you’re enjoying a nice dip in the pool!