Welcome to National Water Safety Month! Each year Pool Scouts will spend the month of May talking about how we, as pool owners, can keep our backyards safe for family, friends and neighbors. Last year we introduced Gizmo, our Pool Safety Mascot, and he is back to offer up more advice.
Part of my job here at Pool Scouts is to keep up with events and activities within the industry. Because of that, I am all too familiar with the statistics that are associated with the dangers of pools. It seems like every day I read about another drowning that could have been avoided with a few simple steps. So let’s get to them so we can focus on enjoying our pools!
SECURE THE PERIMETER
Ensure that the perimeter around your pool is secure and up to state requirements! This means that in some states, fences and gates should be at least than 5ft high and latches should be located on the inside of the gate. Your fence is the first line of defense to keeping your pool safe. Whether it is the yard fence or a life fence, making sure it is in good condition is so important.
SUPERVISE AND REMOVE TEMPTATIONS
The best way to keep all swimmers safe is to be a responsible observer. Keeping a watchful, undistracted eye on swimmers is key. Pool goers of all ages are susceptible to getting into trouble, leaving anyone unmonitored for any amount of time could make a difference.
Additionally, be sure to remove all pool tools and floats from the pool and store in a secure place. These items are too tempting to little children to reach out and try to grab.
Should you find yourself faced with a swimmer in trouble, time is of the essence. Be sure to keep the pool area and those in charge of watching swimmers, prepared:
- Keep safety equipment readily available: pool hook, flotation devices and first aid kit (equipped with scissors to cut hair or clothes that may get stuck in filter suction)
- Post emergency phone numbers in the pool area and keep a phone within arm’s reach
- Be up to date on CPR certification. The organization CPR Party make it easy and fun to get and stay certified
LEARN TO SWIM
The USA Swimming Foundation states that the risk of drowning decreases by 88% when someone takes swim lessons! That is an impressive statistic, and with so many organizations promoting programs that help people learn to swim, it is easy to find readily available lessons that don’t cost a lot.
TAKE THE PLEDGE
With so many alarming statistics surrounding swimming, organizations around the country have committed to raising awareness and making efforts to educate others on the dangers of swimming and being near water.
The USA Swimming Foundation runs the “Make A Splash” program, offering information and resources for adults and parents interested in lessons for themselves or their children. Both Pool Safely and The National Water Safety Month organization encourage you to “Take the Pledge” to be safe swimmers. The American Red Cross also offers an app to promote safe swimming for people of all ages.
Summer and fun are synonymous, but keeping safe is important. As pool owners, it is important we do our part to ensure our pool is safe!