Few things are as refreshing during a hot summer day as jumping into a sparkling pool, but with great fun comes great responsibility. It’s important to make sure kids are taught how to swim, float, and where to get help when they need it. Roughhousing should also be kept to a minimum, especially on pool decks where slips and falls can lead to big injuries. Before you pull off the swimming pool covers and dive in, prevent pool accidents from happening at your home with these six simple tips.

1) Lock it Down

When your pool isn’t in use, it is important to limit access. In most communities, a fence is legally required and must be built to specific standards. Having an appropriate fence installed will also be good for your insurance premiums. Be sure you have a fence five feet or taller with a lockable gate. A safety cover is also a good option, though safety covers are only effective when properly installed and fully secured so they are more often reserved for use when the pool is closed for the winter.

2) Life Jackets

During busy times or when children outnumber adults, weak or new swimmers should always be wearing life jackets. Most public pools require young swimmers to pass a swimming competency test before they are allowed to swim without floatation aids. You can institute this at your home at well. When life jackets are worn, check to ensure they are in good shape and properly secured.

3) Remove Hazards

An easy way to prevent accidents is to simply remove clutter, like tripping hazards on the pool deck. If you have an automatic pool vacuum, always take the vacuum and hose out of the pool before everyone gets in as swimmers can get tangled in the hose. Be sure that skimmers and other maintenance items are out of the way. Leave a clear path to the most used areas of the pool deck. In warmer climates, such as in Arizona, try to keep the pool deck cool or have everyone wear flip flops to discourage running on a hot surface.

4) No Fatigued Swimmers

Fatigue can be dangerous in many situations. If you wouldn’t drive, you shouldn’t be swimming or supervising swimmers. When kids get worn down, it’s time to take a break or call it a day. Unlike television and movie dramatizations, drowning victims rarely vocalize or draw attention to themselves. Watch out for swimmers who are unresponsive, have glassy eyes, or are barely keeping their mouth above water.

5) Supervise

It’s important to always have at least one adult supervising young swimmers. When multiple adults are present, be sure you always have a designated supervisor so there are always eyes on the water. Just because someone is physically present doesn’t mean they are paying attention to the water, so take turns being responsible!

6) No Exception to the Rule

Know what the rules are at your pool (no running is always a good start) and make sure to go over pool rules frequently. New guests should be briefed and kids should be able to articulate at least the basic rules that keep them safe.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After studying journalism in San Diego, Darryl Ramos got his personal training certification and now focuses his writings on all things health and wellness.  He loves running on the beach and surfing in his spare time.