Swimming pools are great fun, especially in the summer months. They also double up as party venues and family recreational areas. They also provide exercise to the family members and some great memories. But for all their advantages swimming pools can be dangerous places, particularly for children. Children are vulnerable to accidents and injuries near the poolside. Spending a few minutes trapped below water can cause irreversible brain injuries in children. You can incorporate the following tips to make your pool area safe.
Construct a Pool Fence
Constructing a fence around the pool is mandatory in some states. There are also rules regarding the height of the fences. The fence should be tall enough to prevent children from climbing over it. Most experts recommend a height of at least four feet. Taller fences are better at keeping children away from the pool. If the fence is made up of vertical bars or the fence has spaces, then those spaces should not be large enough to allow a child to pass through them.
There should not be any cutouts or wide designs on the fences. The steps or ladders to above-ground pools should be enclosed with a fence. The fence should have an automatic closing and a self-latching gate to prevent the children from opening it. Keep tall stools, ladders or benches away from the fence. Children can use those objects to climb over the fence.
Invest in a Pool Cover
A pool cover is another method to secure your pool. Use locking straps to secure the cover. Both manual and automatic pool covers are available in the market. The pool cover should fit tightly over the pool surface. Else a child may get trapped under it while trying to gain access to the pool. Keep the controls of the automatic pool cover away from children. A well-installed pool safety net can also prevent children from falling into the pool.
Use an Alarm System
Pools hold a great attraction for children. Alarms act as an added layer of protection to keep kids out of water. Installing an alarm will let you know when someone has fallen into the water. Alarms can be placed on the pool fence or in the pool. Wave alarms installed in the pool will let you know when there is motion in the pool. Light alarms can even sense when a child reaches close to the pool. Their beam of light surrounding the pool perimeter gets broken due to the intrusion.
Maintain Pool Drains and Covers in Good Condition
Pool drains can create underwater suction, which can trap swimmers below the surface. The drains have caused many accidents for children. Inspect your drain covers for any sharp edges, missing screws or cracks. They can cause injuries to children. For enhanced safety, switch off the pump when your entire family is using the pool. Small children can get pulled off their feet by the circulating action of pumps and drains.
Uninstall the Diving Boards
It is very easy to slip from the diving board and get hurt. Similarly, swimming pool slides should also be removed as they leave children vulnerable to accidents.
Store Chemicals and Equipment Under Lock and Key
Keeping a pool clean involves the use of chemicals. The chemicals should be kept away from the reach of children. They should be stored in a locked place away from other household equipment. They can cause severe reactions and combustion if mixed with other household products.
Similarly, pool cleaning equipment like robotic cleaners, vacuum cleaners, brushes etc., have the potential to cause harm to small children. They must be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children.
Maintain First Aid Kit and Rescue Equipment Close to the Pool
Invest in a good quality life hook, life ring, rescue tube and floats. This equipment can be of great help while rescuing someone from the pool. These tools must be maintained in proper condition. They must be kept near the pool, and all members of the family must know about their location. If possible, mark their location as rescue equipment. Keep a first aid kit handy near the pool.
Keep the Pool Area in Good Condition
Examine the pool deck for any cracks or chipped tiles. They can be a cause for falls or injuries. Keep the pool area well lit. If you have a dark coloured pool, then install lights on the pool steps. Keep floats, toys and tubes away from the pool after use. These things can attract children to the pool. See that there are no open wires near the pool. Electrical equipment should be kept away from the pool.
Learn Life-Saving Skills
If you have a fibreglass pools gold coast pool at home, then insist that adult family members undergo CPR training. CPR certification courses are offered by a number of organisations. In the event of an accident, CPR can make the difference between life and death.
Children should be taught to swim. Swimming is an essential life skill which can be extremely useful to them in the future.
Set Some Pool Rules
Pools are fun, but the fun should have some rules. Frame certain rules to be followed by all the family members while using the pool. No safety device can substitute for adult supervision.
Children should not be allowed to go to the pool alone. Children should always be accompanied by adults while swimming. Those who do not know how to swim should wear flotation devices while entering the pool. During a party or get together, adults must take turns to supervise the children in the pool. Children should be prevented from playing close to drains. After using above ground pools, store steps or ladders far away in garages or sheds.
Children should be dissuaded from running on the decks or pushing each other into the pool. They should not be allowed to dive into shallow water. A phone should be kept near the pool for emergency use. Adults should be sensitive to signs of drowning.