Nothing says summer like sunny afternoons spent relaxing poolside. If you’re the proud proprietor of a backyard pool you’re in charge of everything, including safety for swimmers of all ages and experience levels. Promoting pool safety is simple when you use easy to understand, easy to implement safety tips this summer.
Prior to swimmers taking the plunge, it’s important to do a safety check of all the chemicals present in your pool. While chemicals help to keep the water clean, too much of any one chemical can cause harm.
You don’t have to play a guessing game when it comes to chemical levels. There are a number of DIY test kits available that will help you determine if there’s too much chlorine in the water.
All pool chemicals, from chlorine to algaecide and filter cleaner, require proper storage when not in use. Exposure to these types of chemicals can cause irritation and even poisoning.
Prevent any of those possibilities by locking away pool chemicals in a temperature controlled area away from the sun, perhaps kept out of view by tarps as an added precaution. And always keep kids away while using the chemicals for cleaning and maintenance.
This is a pool rule that everyone is likely to be familiar with: no running by the pool! No matter how excited kids may be for an afternoon swim, enforcing this rule is paramount to keeping everyone safe.
Take a note from your local public pool and consider installing signage reminding swimmers to slow down around the pool. The more times you mention it the better!
As the pool owner, it’s your responsibility to have plenty of flotation devices on hand in case of an emergency. These devices include life vests, flotation rings, and water wings. Each device should be safety certified and ready for use at any time.
Taking a dive into shallow waters is one of the most dangerous possibilities surrounding your pool, and can lead to serious injury to the diver. From the shallows to the deep end, each level of depth should be clearly marked.
Utilize signage banning any diving in the shallow end, and explain to younger swimmers the dangers of improper diving.
Scrapes, cuts, and other minor injuries seem to be inevitable when spending the summer poolside. Be prepared for any boo-boos by having a first aid kit ready to use at a moment’s notice.
A proper poolside first aid kit should include hydrogen peroxide, bandages, antibiotic ointment, sterile cotton pads, and non-latex gloves. Keep the kit in a spot that’s easily accessible and away from the elements.
One aspect of swim safety that’s often overlooked is sun care. A dip in the pool may cool you down, but don’t be fooled by the cool: sunburns can occur even while swimming, and repeated, unprotected exposure to the sun can lead to long term skin damage.
Waterproof sunscreen is the savior of poolside afternoons. Apply often, especially after toweling down, and be sure to let sunblock properly dry before taking a dive back into the water.
And don’t forget to keep your poolside accessories safe from the sun as well with measures like a chair cover.
You don’t have to hire a professional lifeguard to monitor your backyard pool, but it’s crucial that an adult with strong swimming abilities is present whenever someone is taking a dip. And if said watcher is also first aid certified, you’re set for safety in more ways than one.
Phone Free Zone
A distracted pool monitor is an unreliable one. Cut out any distractions by staying off your phone while you keep an eye on young swimmers. Need some entertainment while you watch? Play an album or a podcast episode through a bluetooth speaker during kid swim to keep things lively.
It’s important that your backyard pool lifeguards get a break from keeping an eye on the little ones as they swim. Consider implementing an adult swim session every hour to let the adults relax.
Thunderstorms are all too common in the summer months, and pose a dangerous threat to afternoon swims. Make a habit of checking the day’s forecast prior to pool time, but be aware that surprise storms can always make an appearance and keep your umbrella cover at the ready.
If thunder is heard, get everyone out of the pool and away from the water. Encourage everyone to head inside while you lay out the chair cover and custom tarp to protect your pool area from the surprise storm.
Rule Out Rough Play
Rough housing is the quickest ways for swimmers to get hurt. Whether it’s playing chicken or pushing others in the water, horsing around is never a good idea. Implement a “no rough play” rule at your pool for swimmers of all ages.
Pool safety should be implemented even when no one is taking a dip. An unattended pool presents a number of dangers to little ones wandering around in the yard.