If you have a backyard pool, spending the long summer days swimming and lounging poolside with friends and family can provide countless hours of fun and cherished memories. But like any other body of water, pools and hot tubs pose certain safety threats, so safety must always be a key consideration—particularly if kids have access to your pool.
Here are some essential pool safety tips to help ensure a safe and enjoyable swimming season for the whole family:
- Ensure constant, responsible adult supervision whenever kids are near the water. It is important to designate at least one sober, attentive adult to keep an eye on kids whenever they are near the pool. The supervising adult should be sitting within arm’s reach of swimmers, should not be distracted, and ideally, should be familiar with the signs that a swimmer is struggling. Even for adults and more experienced swimmers, having a “spotter” nearby is recommended.
- Limit access to the pool area by enclosing it with appropriate fences, gates, and doors that remain locked when the pool is not in use. As with most other states, Connecticut imposes certain requirements on pool barriers. For example, fences must be at least four feet high, and should not have gaps more than two inches high between the bottom of the fence and the ground or gaps between the pickets that would allow the passage of an object four inches or more in diameter. State building codes list several other requirements, and cities and counties may have their own regulations that are even more restrictive than those of the state. Therefore, it’s important to check that your pool barriers comply with all applicable requirements, and that gates or doors remain locked when not in use in order to prevent kids and pets from wandering into the pool area without supervision.
- Keep toys—especially those on wheels—away from the pool or spa, as they could cause a child playing with them to accidentally fall into the water. In addition, make sure that all toys, floats, and other recreational pool equipment is in sound condition and age appropriate for anyone using it.
- Equip your pool area with safety devices. Having the right safety devices on hand can help reduce the risk of drowning, or improve a swimmer’s chances of survival if they find themselves in a dangerous situation in the water. For example, consider keeping a life ring or shepherd’s hook in an easily accessible location within your pool area and installing an outdoor landline phone for calling 9-1-1 if need be. Other products to consider include safety covers and the Pool Patrol Floating Alarm, which floats in the water and activates in the event that people or pets fall into the pool. At Aqua Pool, we are pleased to offer these items and several others to improve the safety and cleanliness of your pool. Call us at (860) 623-9886 for pricing!
- Do not use the pool or spa if the suction outlet covers are broken or missing. The suction from a pool’s circulation system is incredibly powerful. If an outlet cover is broken or missing, swimmers—even physically strong adults—can become entrapped and drown if they come into contact with one of the pool’s drains. Therefore, it’s essential to periodically check that your suction outlet covers are in sound condition and if they need to be replaced, ensure that no one swims in the pool until it is safe.
- Invest in swimming lessons and CPR classes for your family. While there is no substitute for constant adult supervision whenever children are near the pool, enrolling kids in professional swimming lessons from an early age can help reduce the risk of serious incidents. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, it is safe for babies as young as a year old to begin taking swimming lessons. In addition, parents and guardians should consider seeking CPR certification so that they know how to render emergency aid if an incident does occur.
At Aqua Pool, we are here to help ensure that your pool is as safe as possible, this summer and always. Give us a call at (860) 623-9886 for information on the various pool safety products that we offer!