Summer’s Approaching — Let’s Practice Pool Safety

Pools can offer cool relief on scorching days, a place for exercise and relaxation, and summer fun. But owning — or even using —  a pool enjoyment comes with a big responsibility: safety. Saturday is National Pool Opening Day, so let’s take a moment to recognize the importance of pool safety. According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional injury death for children 1-4 years old and the second leading cause of death for those 5-14. Here are some ways to enjoy a backyard pool safely and cautiously:

Fortified Pool Area

  • Fencing is Fundamental: A complete fence, at least 4 feet high, should surround your pool entirely. Look for self-closing, self-latching gates that open away from the pool. Make sure there’s nothing near the fence that can be used for climbing, like chairs or planters.

  • Door Access: House doors leading directly to the pool area should have alarms or self-closing mechanisms. Consider a secondary fence with another self-latching gate for an extra layer of security.

Safety in and Around the Water

  • Supervision is Key: Never leave children unattended near the pool, not for a second. Designate a “water watcher” who stays focused on swimmers, especially young children.

  • Life Vests Save Lives: Children who don’t know how to swim well should wear Coast Guard-approved life jackets whenever they’re in or around the pool.

  • Safety Gear at the Ready: Keep a life preserver, reaching pole, and first-aid kit poolside and easily accessible.

  • Poolside Playdates: Establish clear rules for pool use. No running, diving in shallow areas, or roughhousing.

General Pool Safety

  • Chemical Caution: Store pool chemicals securely, away from the pool, and out of reach of children. Always follow manufacturer instructions for handling and storage.

  • Maintenance: A clean pool is a safe pool. Regularly skim debris, test and adjust the water’s chemical balance, and maintain proper circulation.

  • No Electronics Allowed: Keep radios, phones, and other electronics away from the pool to prevent electrical hazards.

  • Be Water Aware: Don’t swim alone, especially after consuming alcohol. Know your limits and encourage others to do the same.

Following these pool safety tips, you can turn your backyard into a fun and functional space for everyone. Remember, constant vigilance and a focus on safety are essential for a worry-free summer by the pool.

Don’t forget: Enroll your children in swim lessons! These valuable skills can make a life-or-death difference in the water.


See: Information for Public Pools from Uncas Health District

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