With Memorial Day just around the corner, the official beginning of summer and pool season has arrived. And with that comes the responsibility of all pool owners to make sure that their pool and yard is a safe environment for children. Even if all of your children are able to swim and know the safety rules for your pool, never assume that all children know how to behave around the water. Taking a few simple precautions can help to ensure that your summer is filled with nothing but happy memories of time spent with family and friends.
Check Access Points
With children out of school and playing in the neighborhood, it is more important than ever to be sure that your gates work correctly and completely latch. A simple inspection can keep children from entering your yard or pool area without the proper adult supervision. As the weather gets hotter, children will be more interested in just a quick splash to cool off and might take advantage of a gate that does not latch correctly. If you find a latch or gate that is damaged, have it repaired as soon as possible. Nothing is worth the risk of a child being hurt, or worse, in your pool.
Never Let Children Swim Alone
Even children who are accomplished swimmers can get tired or get caught up in the fun and forget about pool safety rules. The only way to ensure that your children and your guests are safe when in your pool is to watch them. Gentle reminders about not running or pushing around the pool and not playing in a rough manner in the pool are important as children can forget these rules during the excitement of playing with friends.
Be Diligent With Guests
Pool parties and BBQ’s are a huge part of summer in Phoenix, but they can also create a huge risk, especially when there is a large group of children in the pool. Never expect parents to monitor children in your pool. It is best to always have an adult who is the monitor of the pool. This person is not involved on conversations or other activities and is completely focused on pool safety. Rotating through different monitors will help to maintain focus and will not cause one person to miss out on the fun of the party. But, most importantly, it will keep your guest safe.
Provide Floatation Devices
If you ae concerned about the skill level of some swimmers, it can be helpful to have a collection of floatation devices such as swim vests and arm band floaties for guests to use. These are not going to take the place of careful adult supervision but they can increase safety when accompanied by adult supervision. Items such as rafts or other floating toys should not be considered safety devices as it is very easy for a child to fall off of these items or lose hold of a floating toy.
Nothing can replace diligent adult supervision when children are near a pool or other water. It only takes a few seconds to turn a summer gathering into a tragedy. Don’t let one of your guests become a statistic. Make sure everyone knows the pool rules and is willing to follow them. And always have at least one adult focused on watching all of the children in your swimming pool.