Nothing compares to enjoying the water on a sunny summer afternoon! And, the sound of children’s laughter at the community pool is a sure sign that summer is here! Whether you belong to a neighborhood swim club or your backyard includes your own private pool, there is a certain level of responsibility associated with pool use and ownership. A large part encompasses being educated, and educating others – especially children who may not have experience around pools. Below are a few tips to help you enjoy the season and keep the younger members in your family safe.
There is no substitute for adult supervision – whether it’s a lifeguard at the community center or a designated, responsible adult in your backyard. Having an adult who is a capable swimmer and can focus on the pool is a necessity, particularly at home. If you’re hosting a pool party, be sure to switch off this responsibility to several adults so that no one is left in the role for too long. This will keep sharp eyes on the pool and its occupants.
Teach and Learn
Helping children become comfortable in the pool – which includes learning the basics of swimming, along with encouraging the lifelong fitness benefits of swimming and having fun in the water – is a skill that all of us should possess. Knowing how to swim, float, and maintain calmness in the water can save a life. If you belong to a community pool, sign up for swim lessons, and consider signing youngsters up for a recreational swim team. It’s a great summer activity that builds team participation, opportunities for new friendships, and sharpens swimming ability through daily practice. Two other safeguards for your family – if you own a pool, every adult in the household should be trained and certified in CPR; and make sure everyone uses sunscreen, reapplying as necessary!
Physical barriers can prevent someone from gaining pool access when they shouldn’t, wandering into the water at night, or just missing a step and finding themselves suddenly submerged in water. Pool fences are usually requirements and are available in a number of styles and materials. Be sure to check your jurisdiction’s regulations for height and latches. You might also consider an alarm for your pool.
Yearly inspections are required for public facilities, and any homeowner with a pool needs to follow the same guidelines. Regular inspections are the key to maintaining a healthy environment and ensuring that your pool’s mechanicals are running correctly and efficiently. Invest in upgrading electrical components and drains to the latest safety features.
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