Water Safety at Home: Securing Your Backyard Oasis for Pool-Season Peace
It’s Water Safety Month, and we need to talk about it. To some, water safety may not be a topic deserving of a full month of attention. However, it DOES. In fact, we think water safety should be given attention every month and not just during the month of May. The statistics are here to prove its importance.
Did you know the leading cause of accidental death among children under age five is drowning? These incidents most frequently take place in residential swimming pools; however, it is important to note that this also happens in other forms of shallow water, like bathtubs. Shockingly, it only takes one inch of water and 20 seconds for a small child to drown. This is scary, but we want to make sure you, pool owners with children, know that while you’re providing your kids with future core memories, perfect outdoor parties, and fun-in-the-sun all summer long, you also must keep water safety in mind and take the proper precautions to prevent accidental drowning.
Tips for Keeping Your Backyard Safe
- Invest in a secure barrier. It is highly recommended that you install a barrier around the perimeter of your pool that is at least four feet in height, has self-latching and self-closing gates, cannot be climbed, and has no gaps.
- Remove any objects, like furniture, that could be used by children to climb over a fence or barrier.
- In addition to a secure physical barrier, consider investing in an alarm system that notifies or alerts you every time someone enters the pool area.
- Remove temptations! Clean up and clear the pool area after each use. Toys on the pool deck or in the pool are tempting and could easily attract curious, young children over without supervision.
- Establish a designated “water watcher” to keep eyes on the pool. This person is not to leave any child unattended. Try designating a few different adults and rotate water watcher duty!
- Avoid distractions like cell phones when you are the only supervision or the adult on duty for your children at the pool.
- Keep safety equipment handy. Along with a fully-stocked safety kit, rescue equipment should be kept poolside for immediate use in the case of an emergency.
- Learn CPR. CPR is a basic yet valuable skill that can make a huge difference and even save lives in the event of an emergency while waiting for professional help to arrive on site
- Create a culture of water safety awareness for family and friends. Teach your children about the importance of water safety and the danger that can occur when they aren’t making safe and smart decisions.
- Establish a set of pool rules for not only your children, but for the whole family. Ensure that you’re setting a proper example for your little swimmers.
- Keep guests informed of the pool rules and make sure they are following them as well.
- Enroll your children in swimming lessons starting at a young age. If your babies and toddlers have knowledge of basic survival skills, like how to float on their back, their risk of drowning is much, much lower. British Swim School has programs for children as young as three months old, as well as programs for experienced adults!
There’s no reason your oasis can’t be luxurious, peaceful, fun, and safe at the same time! Implementing these preventative measures will help you create fun memories that aren’t likely to be interrupted by pool-related trauma. Stay vigilant and prepared – your summer will be much better this way!