So you’ve taken care of your pool maintenance and it’s time to kick off a summer of Texas poolside fun. The water is treated and balanced, the tile is clean, and you’ve tested all your filters. You’re ready to go, right?
Not so fast! Before your family changes into bathing suits and slathers on sunscreen, ask yourself this question: have you thought about pool safety?
The sad truth is that drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths of children aged 1-14. When you have a backyard pool in Katy, TX, that means that you have to take responsibility for pool safety.
Fortunately, we’re here to provide seven pool safety tips that will keep your kids safe this summer. Read on to find out more about the steps you can take to increase pool safety for kids!
1. Install a Pool Safety Fence
Pool safety protects the whole neighborhood. Start by creating a fence or barrier around your pool and make sure that the gate or doorway can be locked when the pool isn’t in use.
You want to install a fence or barrier that is four feet fall or taller. This fence or barrier shouldn’t be easy to climb or slip through. That means that spaces between vertical boards should not exceed four inches and chainlink fences should not have openings that are larger than 1 3/4 inches.
2. Install Door Alarms
Oftentimes, homeowners use their homes as part of their pool safety fence or barrier. In other words, the fence or barrier may enclose the pool while maintaining direct access to the house. If this is the case, you should also install door alarms.
Door alarms will let you know right away if one of your kids has gone outside. You can even set up your back door alarm to make a different sound than other doors. That way, you will always know when someone has opened the back door and can go and check that the kids aren’t heading for the pool.
3. Use a Pool Safety Cover
Another good option is a pool safety cover. The safest option is a power safety cover that meets ASTM pool cover standards.
In order to meet ASTM standards, a power safety cover must be able to hold the weight of two adults and one child. This makes it possible for a quick and easy rescue if anyone is to fall onto the pool cover while it is in use.
In addition to covering the pool when it isn’t in use, we recommend putting away floatation devices and pool toys.
4. Practice Constant Supervision
Keep outdoor distractions to a minimum. At any given time, at least one adult should be watching what is happening in the pool while kids are playing in or around it. That means no reading, no looking at a screen, and no watching the world go by!
Make sure that anyone who is watching your kids–whether a relative or a babysitter–understands the supervision rule. It is also helpful to have someone around who knows CPR and can act quickly if accidents do occur. Consider taking CPR certification classes and hiring childcare providers who have done the same.
5. Missing a Kid? Check the Pool First
Imagine you’re hosting a party and everyone has gone inside for dinner, leaving the backyard empty and unattended. You notice that one of your kids isn’t in the room like you thought they were. Before you start looking around other parts of the house, make someone check the pool.
Drowning can take as little as a few seconds. That means that if you’re dealing with a pool-related accident, you need to act fast.
While checking the pool, don’t just glance at the surface. Make sure that you get a full view of the pool from all angles and get a good look at the pool floor. Ask someone to monitor the poolside until you locate the missing child or cover it and lock the gate.
6. Talk to Kids About Pool Safety
One of the best things you can do to increase pool safety in your home is to talk about it. Of course, the pool is fun and we love splashing around all summer, but even your littlest ones need to understand that the pool is not a toy.
Set boundaries about pool use. Make sure that your kids understand that it is against the rules to swim without supervision. While it may not be fun to talk about the dangers of unsupervised play, it can save you and your family a lot of trouble in the end!
7. Invest in Swimming Lessons
When you have a pool in your Katy, TX backyard, think of swim lessons as a necessary part of your child’s education. If you are going to allow regular (albeit supervised) access to a pool, it’s important that everyone has basic swimming skills. This can include treading water, swimming out of the deep end, and practicing proper breathing techniques while swimming.
Keep in mind that taking swimming lessons shouldn’t entitle your kiddos to 24/7 pool time! Swimming lessons lower the risk but they don’t negate them entirely.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Pool Safety
In Katy, TX, we love a good backyard pool. Whether it’s above ground or below, there’s no better way to beat the summer heat and have a good time. The best way to keep the pool fun is to practice proper pool safety for kids and families.
We’re here to offer more than pool safety tips, alone. Do you need any pool maintenance or cleaning? Are you looking to build your first backyard pool or beautify your yard with a patio cover?
If so, contact us today. We’ll get you started with a free consultation.