Summer is a great time to enjoy our backyard pools and warm water. The Sun, toys, umbrellas, refreshing drinks and water are all there for us! All of us love summer mostly for warm water and pools. However, home pools can also be dangerous for our kids and pets. Drowning in home pools is too common in the USA, and it’s even the major cause of accidental death of children aged 1 to 19 for some states. We strongly recommend communicating these pool rules to make your backyard pool safe and fun your kids, pets and yourself. When you don’t use the pool, make sure to keep toys away. And never leave your kids or pets alone nearby the swimming pool. Though some dogs are good swimmers, other breeds may drown if left unsupervised around a pool. Well, let’s start from rules for adults.
Rule 1. Never swim after drinking alcohol or taking medications
Keep in mind that you should not eat, drink and take medications before swimming. Even a small hamburger just before you enter the water may be dangerous for you. So eat well at least 1 hour before swimming. Even strong swimmers can get injured or drown if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It seriously impairs judgment and coordination.
Rule 2. Construct a fence around the pool
Even in less than 5 minutes your kid may climb out of the window or sneak out through the door and get to the backyard and the pool. So for more safety, make sure to have your pool completely surrounded by a fence. This will prevent your kids and pets from entering the pool without your permission and supervision. There are also some rules to follow related to the fence. Firstly, it should be climb-resistant and not have handholds or footholds. Secondly, it should be 4 feet high and there should not be any furniture or anything else alongside it. Thirdly, make sure the gate is well maintained, is self-closing and opens away from the pool. Lastly, for above-ground pools, you should try your best to keep children and kids away from steps or ladders. When you don’t use the swimming pool, lock the ladders or remove them.
Rule 3. Invest in life vests
Life vests and life jackets are perfect for kids and pets. They add more buoyancy, and the bright color will help your kid stay afloat and highly visible at the same time. But you should not rely on the life jacket so much that you leave your kids and pets unattended. Furthermore, use only the life jackets approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Do not use water wings for children as lifesaving devices. Any child under 3 should wear a life jacket and be under direct supervision of one adult around the pool. This refers also to kids of any age who are unable to swim.
Rule 4. Discourage from drinking pool water
Discourage your pets and kids from drinking water from the pool. Not only are the chemicals bad for them, but pets can also slip and fall in while drinking. And for kids, when they are in the pool, make sure to remind them not to drink the water that gets into their mouths while swimming. Provide much drinking water. You all should drink much, even if you are not thirsty. It is hot, and you need to drink much water while swimming. Have a large bowl of water in the shade near the pool. Call your pets and kids to drink water regularly. This will help you teach them not to drink from the pool. Use pool covers. Do your homework when choosing the cover type. A solid cover is the best choice for pet owners.
Rule 5. Teach your kids and pets to swim
When possible, teach your kids and train your pets to swim. If you’re not comfortable with training your dog, hire a trainer for him or her to teach some swimming basics. Make sure not to hurry. Never throw your «pupils» in the pool. Take your time and let them work it out on their own. Create a positive and fun atmosphere around the pool, so that kids and pets are not afraid of water. Ensure that your kid is old and healthy enough before you try to teach them swimming. Even if your children and pets have learned swimming skills, it’s safer to supervise them around pools and have all possible layers of protection mentioned above. Besides, teach children what to do in case of an emergency. Make sure to teach them to enter using the steps and never leap in from sides of the pool.
Rule 6. More rules
- It is a good idea for adults to learn basic first aid and CPR,
- Always wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15 to avoid painful sunburns,
- Avoid direct sunlight between 12 p.m and 4 p.m.,
- Cover the poolside with non-slip surfaces,
- In your home, secure the windows and the doors,
- If it’s possible, have pool alarms,
- Use non-slip materials on diving boars and ladders,
- Mark water depths conspicuously,
- Check the pool periodically for cleanliness,
- Keep electrical appliances out of the pool area,
- Do not dive into the shallow end of the pool or into above-ground pools, as they could be not deep enough,
- Anytime, keep in mind to enter feet into the water first and check how deep the water is,
- In case if a child or a pet is missing, check the water first, as even one second is important!
- Know when and how to call 911,
- Make sure no to run and not to let your kids and pets run near pools,
- Make sure your kids and pets know the way out of the pool.
Now when you know all these rules relax and enjoy your backyard pool as well as any other pool. These tips are also good to keep in mind when swimming in the sea.
By: Hermine Aslanyan
…Did I Miss Something? What Would You Add?
Be A FRIEND: Share This!
Additional Valuable Resources:
6 Pool Safety Tips for Kids by Stacie Vaughan
Pool Safety by HomeZada
5 Summer Safety Rules to Teach Your Child Now by Chrisanne Grise / Parent.com