With the weather starting to warm up over the next couple of months, everyone will soon be seeking an oasis to cool off and relax in. Spring is the best time of year to begin to make your list of springtime safety tips for children and adults alike. Adding as many water safety steps as possible is the best way to assure a safe and fun experience in a residential swimming pool or spa.
Staying Close, Being Alert and Watching Children in and Around the Pool
- Always watch your children when they are in or near a pool or spa
- Teach children basic water safety tips
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapment
- Have a portable telephone close by at all times when you or your family are using a pool or spa
- If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
- Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors
When Lightning Strikes, Get Out Of The Pool
If you hear any thunder or see lightning off in the distance, take that as a warning to get up and out of the pool. Water can act as a conductor for electricity, so you could be in danger of electrocution if lightning strikes anywhere in your vicinity.
Have a first-aid kit on hand
Being prepared for minor injuries can help avoid major ones. Bumps and bruises are a part of childhood. When they are easily treated with bandages, antibiotic ointment and cleaning pads that you have on-hand, the fun can quickly continue.
Even if kids are outside for just a few minutes, they are prone to sunburn. Here in Arizona, the blistering UV rays from the sun can begin to damage the skin within a few mere minutes. Sun safety for kids and adults is just as important as water safety, particularly with skin cancer being on the rise. Take the time to choose a high quality sun block and apply it to yourself and your kids 30 minutes prior to going out and enjoying the pool (this ensures that the sunscreen has had time to be absorbed into the skin so it won’t come off in the pool).
Secure the gate with a lock
The best gates are self-closing and self-latching. Position the latches well out of reach of children. Install an audible gate alarm that will alert you inside the house if the gate is opened.
Be a party-pooper
Nobody wants the fun to end, but if you notice kids getting tired, it is time to take a water break. Providing plenty of drinking water is sometimes overlooked with all that water in the pool, but dehydration is a real possibility even when swimming.
A pool is also a huge responsibility. According to the Center for Disease Control, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children age one to 14. Such accidents tend to happen very, very quickly. The CDC reports that in most cases, the children involved were out of their parents’ sight for less than five minutes. If you have a pool, you have a responsibility to safeguard it. There is no substitute for vigilant supervision.