May is National Water Safety Month! What is National Water Safety Month? It’s an annual awareness campaign by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals with support from the National Recreation & Park Association, the American Red Cross and the World Waterpark Association. And with summer right around the corner, now is the perfect time to take an opportunity and refresh your water safety knowledge.
Here are three pool safety tips to help you make sure you and your guests are ready for pool time:
1. Layers of Protection
Pool safety means keeping everyone safe around the pool including you, your family and your guests when swimming. But there’s another part to it too. Pool safety also means keeping unwanted guests and your family members out of your pool when they shouldn’t be there. So what should you do? Use layers of protection!
Your first layer of protection is a fence. Per the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), your pool fence and gate should meet the local requirements to keep unwanted guests and unsupervised family members out.
Your second layer of protection is a gate alarm. This will alert you whenever your gate is opened so you’ll know you have an uninvited guest in your pool area.
Additional layers of protection include a water motion alarm, using a safety cover over your pool when not in use and removing ladders or steps when the pool isn’t in use.
2. Supervision and Swimming Abilities
Just because a child can swim, doesn’t mean the child needs to be swimming alone. Additionally, if you have guests, do you know how well they can swim? That’s important too!
Making sure your family can swim is an important step in pool safety – both at home and when visiting others with a pool. Even if you don’t have a pool at home, it is still important for you to still have swimming lessons! Enroll yourself and your family in age-appropriate water orientation and swimming lessons to make sure you’re comfortable in and around the water.
When it comes to swimming, a flotation device is NEVER a substitute for adult supervision in and around the pool. You MUST supervise your children when they are swimming in a pool. This means depending on your child’s age, swimming level and size, you may also need to be in the water with them and there should always be an adult who is designated to watch the water when there are swimmers.
Finally, no one should swim alone – regardless of age.
3. Have a Pool Safety Plan and Pool Rules
All families should have a pool safety plan in case of an emergency and while it is unlikely you’ll need to use your training, it’s an important part of pool safety to have it. What should you learn? Basic first aid and CPR are both key pool safety courses.
In addition to being trained, it is important to establish rules and review safety behaviors with everyone in the household before you “open” the pool for the season and whenever you have a new pool guest.
Basic pool rules need to include no diving, no running and obey safety signs. It is also important to keep children away from pool drains and pipes. Finally, make sure you have a well-equipped first-aid kit and rescue equipment poolside. Also, keep CPR instructions posted and have a phone near the pool, just in case.
Pentair takes pool safety seriously. That’s why we’re a proud sponsor of the 2019 National Water Safety Month. Get more ideas on how to promote water safety here.