There is nothing more therapeutic than a refreshing dip in the pool. Add to that the fun factor and you have the perfect physical activity and a place to throw parties too. Unfortunately, however, about 390 deaths a year are attributed to drowning in a pool, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
There are a number of safety measures you can implement to protect your loved ones from drowning. We gathered recommendations from the experts for some practical safety tips that can keep you and your family safe in the pool.
1. Install Alarms
“While fences and covers do well to indicate that your pool is off-limits at particular times, children can still figure out ways to get past them and risk falling in. To make sure you’re there in case that happens, it’s important to have an alarm system on your pool’s fence. There are two kinds of pool alarm systems: Wave Alarms-These are set off by ripples and waves caused by someone falling in and Light Alarms- This system shoots a beam of light around the pool’s parameter, setting off when the beam is broken.” (Ashley H)
2. Secure All Pathways To The Pool
“Apart from fences and covers, you’ll need to secure every pathway that kids can take from inside the house to the swimming pool. Consider securing the gates and doors to the pool with kid-proof door knob covers and different kinds of locks depending on your gate or door. These locks and covers are simple to use and very affordable.” (Ashley H)
3. Check The Pool’s Drain And Drain Covers
“A pool drain’s suction feature is so strong that it can lead to the entrapment of even the most experienced swimmers. If a smaller person swims by a drain, not only are they at risk of injuries but they can also potentially drown. This serious issue can be dealt with simply by using anti-drain entrapment covers. While private pools are not required by law to have them, it should definitely be a priority when improving your pool’s safety.”
Ashley H, Founder Home Improvement Blog MomLovesHome
4. Have a Way To Assign Someone Watch Duty
“When multiple adults are at the pool, they may count on someone else to be watching the children. Have a way to remember who must be watching at all times. We have a lanyard for pool parties to make sure that the person watching remembers that they can not rely on the other adults around. The person with the lanyard needs to give it to another adult before heading to the bathroom, getting food or drinks, or engaging in a conversation that involves them taking their eyes off of the children in the water.
“My children learned how to swim at a young age, as we lived in Florida at a house with a pool. Even though they are great swimmers, they usually have cousins and friends over. It is easy to get distracted, but so important to make sure that at least 1 adult is watching at all times.”
Lanie van der Horst make-more-adventures.com
5. Environmental Safety
“The first thing I learned, and something that can make a huge difference to pool safety in any environment, is that we badly misunderstand what it looks like when someone is getting into trouble in the water. We all like to think that we’d recognize the danger when it occurs, but in fact drowning can often happen right before our eyes, without us realizing.” (Eric Phillips)
6. Signs of Drowning
“Often, someone in trouble in the water won’t obviously be struggling: in fact, the hallmark signs of drowning are limp limbs and a head that’s tilted back in the water. Surprisingly, people who are drowning are rarely thrashing about like we see in the movies – simply reevaluating our expectations of what it looks like to be in trouble in the water can save a lot of lives.
“For parents, this means having some difficult conversations with your kids. Whilst young kids should always be supervised around water, older children enjoy their independence – but they have to know the signs that something has gone wrong, so they can reach out for help before it’s too late.” (Eric Phillips)
7. Physical Barriers
“Physical barriers such as hard-top pool covers and fencing are vital to ensure that the pool is a safe space when no one is watching, but, in my opinion, too often people assume that having the right barriers creates a safe pool environment when actually expanding our education is the number one thing that will keep us safe this summer!”
Eric Phillips, Founder of Dripfina
8. Textured Concrete to Prevent Slipping
“Make sure to have textured concrete around the pool. In order to prevent accidental slipping around the pool, it is very important to have textured concrete. There have been so many accidents already due to someone slipping on the wet floor so this should be done in order to avoid it.”
Willie Greer, Founder, The Product Analyst
9. Install a Handrail
“Our family consists of 3 children ages 6, 8 and 12 – so keeping them safe in and around the pool comes first and foremost for us. We made one modification to our pool to ensure that should there ever be any worrying situations; we have something to help prevent any accidents.
“We installed a simple handrail around the perimeter of the inside of the pool, so if there is ever that moment when one of our children can’t seem to hold their own in the pool, there is always something for them to grab onto to hold themselves up. This is also great for exercise in the pool as well, so that’s a plus too – but safety is the real reason we have had it installed.”
Perry Knight, Lead Editor Wheelie Great
10. Remove Obstacles And Slip Hazards
“Many cases of poolside injuries occur when people slip or trip over objects. It’s wise to keep the area clear of obstacles and over it with surfaces that are more secure than tile. Remove that diving board – yeah, diving boards are fun, but it’s too easy to slip and break something if you’re an amateur and your pool doesn’t comply with the sports pool requirements! They are even more dangerous for your kids.”
Sean Chapman, Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Tools’n’Goods
Virginia Hoff is a former police officer with over 20 years experience, and currently acts as the Senior Security Writer for Be-Safe.org.
Her expertise include Home Security and Family Protection.