Summer pool safety reminders

May 13, 2008 4:45:50 PM PDT
Backyard pools, while providing hours of entertainment during the hot summer months, can be dangerous. Tragically, most drowning and injuries in backyard pools involve children and young adults. The Mt. Diablo Region YMCA has put together a list of safety tips as well as must have equipment to ensure maximum pool safety. Top 10 Things Every Homeowner With A Pool Needs To Have
  1. Fences and walls should be at least 4 feet high and installed completely around the pool. The fence must be self-closing and self-latching. Check to make sure your fence meets your municipality's requirements for height and safety.
  2. Install an alarm on the door leading out to the pool area that will sound if the door is unexpectedly opened.
  3. Equip your pool with a power safety cover -- a motor-powered barrier that can be placed over the water area when the pool is not in use.
  4. Keep rescue equipment by the pool and be sure a phone is poolside with emergency numbers posted. Knowing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be a lifesaver.
  5. Don't leave pool toys and floats in the pool or pool area that may attract young children to the water.
  6. To prevent body entrapment and hair entrapment/entanglement, have a qualified pool professional inspect the drain suction fittings and covers on your pool and spa to be sure that they are the proper size, properly attached, and meet current safety standards. If your pool or spa has a single drain outlet, consider installing a safety vacuum release system that breaks the vacuum to avoid potential entrapment conditions.
  7. Make sure to have safety equipment standing by. This includes a breathing barrier, and rescue device (i.e. an inner-tube with rope or a reaching pole) and a first aid kit.
  8. Remember to keep a fully charged cordless phone in the pool area at all times with emergency phone numbers posted.
  9. Have life jackets on hand for your children and visitors.
  10. If you have recently added a pool to your backyard, make sure that your homeowner's insurance is up to date and that you are properly insured.
Top 10 Backyard Pool/Water Safety Tips
  1. All children should learn to swim especially if you live near water or have access to a pool. Your local YMCA offers swimming lessons for children and adults of all ages.
  2. Let visitors know the pool rules before they get to the pool area. Make sure these rules are enforced.
  3. At least one adult should be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should a problem arise.
  4. There must be 100% supervision at all times. This includes scanning the pool for all children inside. Adults must not be distracted by conversation, phone calls, or other errands. Make sure to designate an adult "scanner" at all times and switch off if you need to. If you are the only adult with the children and must leave the area, take the children with you and remember to lock the gate.
  5. Never allow children to swim alone, regardless of their age or ability and never leave children unattended in or around water.
  6. Children must use personal flotation devices and not toys such as "water noodles" and/or "water wings" for support. These toys are not safe and will not provide a child support during distress.
  7. Encourage feet first entries; no one should ever dive into an above ground pool.
  8. Do not wear earplugs; they can add dangerous pressure as you descend.
  9. Don't allow glass around the pool.
  10. Make sure children take breaks to reapply sunscreen and stay hydrated.

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