Now that Memorial Day has passed marking the unofficial start of summer, it’s a good time to think about swimming pool safety. When it comes to swimming, ensuring health and safety should always be a top priority.
Drowning prevention should always be the first and foremost consideration every time we spend time around a swimming pool or spa. Every year there are far too many drowning deaths due to oversight or neglect, and they can be avoided by taking a few simple safety measures:
Use the Proper Equipment
- For pool owners, examine your areas of immediate protection and barriers. These include fences of the appropriate height, self-latching gates, locks, alarms and pool safety covers.
- Make sure the pool is equipped with anti-vortex drain covers
- A four-sided fence separating the pool from the house and yard greatly reduces a child’s risk of drowning
- Always be prepared with rescue equipment, life jackets, and first aid supplies
- No running – Especially when children are around, no running near the pool should be allowed. Put up signs if necessary
- No diving – If the pool is shallow, make sure that everyone knows there is no diving allowed.
- Post water-depth signs so that people know how deep the water is
- Playing safe – When children are playing, keep an eye out so they are not dunking each other or doing anything dangerous
- Parental supervision – Children should not be allowed to play in the pool without an adult present
- Use a buddy system – Drowning can happen silently, so make sure someone is always paying attention to whoever is in the pool
Learn Life-Saving Skills
- CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) so that you are prepared in the worst-case scenario
- Learn to swim, or teach your children how to swim. Children should be able to swim the length of the pool without touching the perimeter. At the very least, anyone entering the pool should know how to tread water for several minutes
Swimming pool chemical safety and its storage is also a concern. Pool chemicals can become hazardous when improperly mixed with water or other chemicals. This can cause them to exhibit oxidation properties that are highly reactive and create high temperatures. Sometimes, they can even release toxic vapors.
Before administering any chemical to the pool, first read it’s dosing and application instructions. Wear protective eyewear and gloves when handling these chemicals.
- Prior to storage, be sure to secure lids, caps and packaging
- Check for any leaks
- Store the chemicals in their original containers – NEVER place chemicals in another chemicals container, empty or not, as this can cause an inadvertent chemical reaction
- Always store chemicals in a cool, dry and well-ventilated area
- ALWAYS keep incompatible chemicals separate from each other
- Do NOT store liquids on top of solids
- If possible, keep chemicals off of the floor
- It’s a good idea to post a copy of the specific chemicals’ MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) nearby
It’s never too late to implement a swimming pool safety plan for all of the abovementioned items. Monitoring safety is imperative to the overall swimming experience for your family & friends.
Swim Happy and have a great summer!