Here are some tips for keeping your pool playtime safe:
· Teach children to swim. Swimming lessons are a lifelong gift that will help children stay safe around water into adulthood and allow them to enjoy water sports and activities to their fullest.
· Don’t assume that children who know how to swim don’t need supervision. Accidents can happen to anyone, no matter what age or swim ability. Even strong adult swimmers should avoid swimming alone.
· There is no substitute for adult supervision. A responsible adult should always watch children during all activities in or near the pool.
· Don’t assume that someone is watching. A Just because there are adults present at a gathering or party doesn’t mean they are watching the swimmers. Adults often get caught up in socializing and might not even notice that a child is in trouble until it’s too late. Designate someone to watch the swimmers at all times
· Don’t rely on flotation devices. Floaties or swim aids can’t take the place of supervision. They can shift position, slip off or deflate suddenly, leaving children in a dangerous situation.
· Don’t leave children unattended, even for one minute. Most child drowning incidents occur when an adult just went in the house to get the phone or just walked away for a few seconds. Keep a phone outside and if you must go in for some reason, take all children out of the pool until you can return.
Remember that just having a pool on your property is a potential drowning hazard, even when there are no swimming activities. Here are some of the biggest steps you can take to keep yourself and your family safe around the pool even when you’re not swimming:
· Block access to pools, spas and other water features in the yard using approved pool barriers. There should be no direct opening from the house into the enclosed pool area, so that the barr ier completely separates the pool from the house and the play areas of the yard. Make sure the barrier remains in place when the pool is not in use.
· Remove all toys from the pool and deck area after every use so that children are not attracted to them and tempted to gain access to the pool.
· Keep basic life-saving equipment by the pool and know how to use it. A pole, rope and personal flotation device are recommended.
· Keep water levels full in pools to help child reach the ledge
· Rigid pool covers and pool alarms are supplemental layers of protection but do not replace fencing around pools
· If a small child is missing in the house, check the pool first, before all other possibilities. Every second counts when it comes to drowning.
Pool Drain Cover Safety
· Check drain covers to ensure they are not loose or broken. If you have doubts, call a pool professional to inspect it.
· Do not get in pools that have loose, broken or missing drain covers.
· Replace old drain covers with ones that meet standards of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, marked VGB 2008
· Install an automatic pump shut-off system
· Install a safety vacuum release system
· Install anti-entrapment devices on pool drains