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Backyard Summer Safety: Pools


As we head into the “dog days” of summer, there’s nothing better than a refreshing dip in a backyard pool! But use caution when doing so. The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission reports a sharp increase in the number of pool and spa drownings as the summer heats up. The good news is these deaths and injuries can be prevented with a bit of preparation. To enjoy your time around the pool this summer, here are some tips to keep your family (and friends!) safe:

  • Install a four-foot or taller fence around the perimeter of the pool and/or spa.  Use a self-closing, self-latching gate.  For spas, have and use a lockable safety cover. Maintain all covers in working order and be sure that they comply with federal standards.
  • Be sure to have a door or pool alarm if your house serves as a “forth side” of the fence around a pool to alert that small children may be wandering into the pool area.
  • Have safety equipments such as rings, floats or reaching poles available and easily accessible.
  • Learn how to swim and teach children how to swim. There is a sharp increase drowning deaths among those who do not know how to swim. Enroll in an age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim course.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa. Designate a water watcher to supervise children in the pool who is not reading, texting, or otherwise distracted. Adults can take turns being a designated watch person.
  • Teach children basic water safety tips such as swimming with a buddy and in supervised areas.
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
  • Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs not only judgement, but balance and coordination needed for swimming and diving.  Statistics show that alcohol use is involved in up to 70{babbc178be77080b85919e01e8fc05e4d4cf13798276bf03760b167f5df6e3dc} of water recreation deaths among adolescents and adults.

Use these tips to ensure a safe and happy summer for you and your loves ones. For more information, see Red Cross water safety tips for kids and adults.