Pool Safety Tips

A backyard swimming pool is a great way for you and your family to stay cool during the hot summer months. However, they can also be dangerous. Statistics indicate that more than 1,000 children die each year from drowning or other pool-related accidents. Of those who survive such accidents, roughly 20 percent suffer permanent neurological damage due to oxygen deprivation or head injuries. The most shocking part is that most of these tragic accidents are highly preventable. Therefore, it's strongly recommended that you and your family follow these basic pool safety tips.

Install a Pool Fence

Placing a fence around your pool is one of the most significant ways to avoid accidents. Children often wander off without their parents' knowledge, and they aren't necessarily aware of the dangers of swimming unsupervised. It only takes a moment for tragedy to strike and for a precious life to be lost. A pool fence with a locking gate serves as an impenetrable barrier to keep children out of harm's way.

Don't Swim Alone

No matter how old you are, it's never a good idea to swim alone. So many things can happen, even to a careful adult. You could slip and fall, become tangled in hoses or get caught in the filter's suction. If you're alone, there's nobody there to see that you're in distress and call for help. This dramatically increases the odds that you could sustain grievous injury, or worse, death.

Don't Run

Running in a pool area is never a good idea. Even when rough-textured surfaces can make it seem safe, water has a way of making even the roughest pavement slick. People who run can trip and fall, sustaining nasty scrapes and bruises in the process. There's also the possibility of a serious blow to the head, which is nothing to take lightly. When moving around the pool area, be sure to walk with careful and steady steps. Similarly, never enter a pool by rushing down its ladders or steps. These are also extremely slippery and can cause injuries like those described above.

No Glass

Glass and swimming pools don't mix. Dropping bottles or cups on hard surfaces will cause them to shatter, sending bits of glass in every direction. Even if you carefully sweep up the mess, you can never be certain that you got it all. Some of it may have also ended up in the pool where it will be impossible to spot through the water. The bottoms of the feet are home to large arteries that, when cut, can cause someone to bleed to death within minutes.

Install a Pool Cover

Like fences, pool covers can be considered an essential piece of safety equipment. Keeping one of these covers over your pool when you're not using it prevents children from getting in without your knowledge. While a regular soft cover will do, use a hard or automatic model for maximum safety.

Keep the Pool Clean

Keeping your pool clean and free of debris is an important safety measure that people often overlook. Failing to do so can result in the growth of dangerous pathogens such as cryptosporidium, E. coli, giardia, norovirus and pseudomonas. Even MRSA, the dreaded antibiotic-resistant bacteria that has been sweeping through hospitals, can be a present in poorly maintained pools.