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8 Important Tips for Pool Safety

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 percent 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 the Red Cross home pool and hot tub safety page.