We all know summers in St. Louis can be real scorchers, and nothing’s more refreshing than jumping into a nearby pool. Tragically, though, hundreds of young children drown in backyard swimming pools each year, according to the American Red Cross. Here are a few things to keep in mind so you can enjoy the pool safely all summer long!
Make sure everyone in your pool area knows how to swim. Swimming lessons teaching water safety and introductory swimming are a great option for all ages and are offered at many local gyms and pools. Teaching water safety also means establishing and enforcing rules and safe behaviors, such as “no diving,” “stay away from drain covers,” “swim with a buddy” and “walk please.”
Make sure to:
- Keep children under active supervision at all times.
- Stay in arm’s reach of young kids.
- Designate a responsible person to watch the water when people are in the pool — never allow anyone to swim alone.
- Make sure there is someone nearby who knows how to respond to pool emergencies using safety equipment, first aid and CPR. Be sure to take regular refreshers on those skills.
Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. A 4′ fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate should be sufficient. Place a safety cover on your pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a surface wave or underwater pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.
Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.
Keep water wings, life jackets and other floaties on hand for beginners.