There’s not much that’s better than being able to spend a few lazy days in and around the pool during the hot summer months. However, that beckoning oasis in yours or a friend’s or family member’s back yard can pose a tremendous safety hazard for children if the appropriate safety measures haven’t been taken. Taking the following precautions will help ensure that everyone can enjoy their outdoor time to the fullest.
1. Erect a Sturdy Pool Fence
This is by far one of the best measures property owners with swimming pools can take because it provides an effective barrier for keeping young children away from the pool while it’s not in use. Fence gates should open towards the outside and be self-closing and self-latching/locking as well. It’s recommended that pool fences and gates be a minimum of five feet high.
2. Install a Pool Alarm
Installing a swimming pool alarm that alerts property owners when fence gates are being opened will provide additional peace of mind because it will alert adults to the fact that someone is entering the area unsupervised. An underwater pool alarm can also be installed that uses motion sensors to detect water movement – this will alert property owners immediately if a child falls into the pool while no one is around.
3. Teach Children how to Swim
Children from as young as three years old can be taught how to swim safely – or at the very least, learn how to remain afloat until help arrives. Children who know the basics of how to swim will also feel more confident and have a better understanding of why they need to follow specific rules when spending time around the pool. When swimming, children should also be taught not to run around the pool or push anyone in unexpectedly, as this can cause serious injuries.
4. Provide Constant Supervision
It can be tempting to nip inside and answer the phone or provide drink refills while your children stay in the pool alone for a few minutes. However, a few minutes is all that’s needed for tragedy to strike – especially where younger children are concerned. Always ensure that at least one responsible adult is keeping constant watch while children are swimming or anywhere near the pool area.
5. Beware of the BBQ
Most days spent around the pool wouldn’t quite be the same without the traditional BBQ meal being grilled outside. However, the heat being generated from these units can cause serious burn injuries. Children should be taught to remain a minimum of three feet away from the BBQ at all times – even after food has been removed.
Before heading outside to swim, it’s also essential that sunscreen be applied to all exposed areas of skin. Babies younger than six months of age should be kept out of the sun completely. These tips will go a long way in helping to ensure that your family will enjoy the safest summer possible.