What’s the first thing you think about when it’s time to open your pool for the season?
If it has anything to do with how your swimsuit will fit (hmm, it seems to have shrunk over the winter) or who you’ll invite to the first pool party, you’re missing a really important step.
May is National Water Safety Month, the perfect time to review the critical steps to ensure your swimming pool safety for your family and friends this summer.
An average of 390 children between the ages of 1 and 14 drown in a swimming pool or spa in the United States every year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Of those, most were children younger than age 5.
Young children and toddlers are especially vulnerable to drowning. It’s the leading cause of unintentional death among children 1 to 4 years of age and the second leading cause of death for children from 5 to 14 years old.
So, how much attention are you paying to swimming pool safety? Here’s a checklist.
7 Swimming Pool Safety Musts
- Is there a fence around the perimeter of your pool or spa?
- Are there self-closing and self-latching gates?
- Are there door, gate or pool alarms in use?
- Are all pool and spa covers in working order?
- Has the public pool or spa you use been inspected to ensure it is compliant with federal, state and local laws?
- Has someone in the family received training in CPR, first aid and emergency response?
- Has everyone learned to swim?
More Tips for Safe Splashing
If your checklist is looking good, here are a few more pointers to keep your swimming pool area as safe as possible.
- Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water.
- Always brief babysitters on water safety, emphasizing the need for constant supervision.
- Appoint a “designated watcher” to monitor children during social gatherings at or near pools. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smartphone, or otherwise distracted.
- Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults. Post CPR instructions in your pool area.
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapments.
- Ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal safety standards. If you don’t know, ask your pool service provider about safe drain covers.
- Install a poolside phone, preferably a cordless model, with emergency numbers programmed into speed-dial.
- Keep rescue equipment and a first aid kit poolside.
- Install four-sided isolation fencing, at least five feet high, equipped with self-closing and self-latching gates, that completely surrounds the pool and prevents direct access from the house and yard.
- Don’t leave toys or other tempting objects that might attract a child in the pool and pool area.
- Don’t leave chairs or other items of furniture around that a child could use to climb into a fenced pool area.
- Don’t assume you’ll hear a child who’s in trouble in the water — child drowning is silent, with no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble
Need Help? Neave Knows Safety
Our fully trained staff at Neave Pools will review municipal by-laws and requirements in your New York or Connecticut neighborhood to ensure that your pool fences or enclosures not only meet the basic swimming pool safety standards but exceed them. We can update any existing pool fencing so it meets current safety standards.
Neave’s pool service technicians, certified by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals and the National Swimming Pool Foundation, can check your safety equipment to make sure it’s functioning properly, as part of our array of pool maintenance services.
If you’re in Hudson Valley, call (845) 463-0592. Westchester, call (914) 271-7996. Cold Spring, call (845) 463-0592, and in Connecticut, call (203) 212-4800. Or fill out the handy web form on this page, and we’ll get in touch with you to schedule a complimentary swimming pool consultation.
A cool, inviting pool is one of the best places to spend the summer. But don’t send those pool party invitations until you know your pool is safe.