Warm weather brings fun in the sun. One of the most popular summertime activities is enjoying a day at the pool with friends and family. Your time can be fun if some simple steps are taken to keep everyone safe.
If you own a pool or spa, it’s critical that you take steps to ensure the safety of everyone – and particularly children – in and around the water. This requires installing safety devices and observing proper water safety behaviors.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggests many steps which range from installing pool and spa fences to ensuring children know how to swim. When combined, these safety strategies help ensure that both adults and children are protected in and around the water.
Important safety tips to help protect your family and friends:
- Always watch your children when they’re in or near a pool or spa. If multiple adults are present, designate one of them to watch the children for a designated amount of time and then rotate. This technique will prevent lapses in supervision.
- Teach children basic water safety tips and enroll them in swimming lessons.
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapments.
- Don’t rely on fun toys such as water wings or noodles to keep your children safe. If your child can’t swim, fit them with an appropriate personal floatation device (PFD).
- Have these items close by at all times when you or your family are using a pool or spa: portable telephone, first aid kit, flotation device, and a pair of scissors to cut hair, clothing, or a pool cover if needed.
- If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.
- Share safety instructions with family, friends, and neighbors.
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
- Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly.
- Install a five-foot or taller fence around the pool and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.
- Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.
- If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install door alarms and always use them. For added protection, install window guards on windows facing pools or spas.
- Install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water.
- Make sure any pool and spa you use has compliant drain covers; ask your pool service provider if you don’t know.
- Keep your pool or spa cover is in good shape. If you notice defects have them repaired if possible or buy a new one.
If you have a pool or spa, or if you plan to spend time near one this summer, it’s critical that you’re prepared and knowledgeable of the dangers. Following as many of these water safety steps as possible is a good way to assure a great experience. Have a fun – and safe – summer!
This blog was written by Personal Lines underwriter Theresa Meyer. Theresa has been with West Bend for 28 years.