Swimming pool safety may not be about home inspections, but here at Ellingwood Pro we are more than just an inspection company. We want you to live in a house that is full of laughter, love and most importantly safe! As a home inspection company we see so many things in houses that are unsafe or could have easily been prevented with maintenance care. As part of our pro blogs, we will be focusing on a series of safety tips around the home from time to time. These may not all be related to home inspections but they will be related to keeping your home safe.
With the summer quickly approaching and more and more people are opening up their swimming pools we thought it was a great time to write about Pool Safety. Ellingwood Pro does not inspect swimming pools but we have researched and compiled a list of tips to keep your pool safe this summer.
Walk, Do Not Run
In any kind of pool, above or below ground, it is important to walk and not run when around the pool. The areas around a swimming pool can be wet and slippery. In order to be safe be sure to use caution and not run when around a pool to avoid falling and injury.
Supervise Children in and Around the Pool
Be sure to watch children at all times in and around the pool, even if they know how to swim. According to the CDC children ages 1 to 4 years old have the highest drowning rates. It is very important to make sure you are watching children around the pool areas at all times. Even if you are not swimming but a pool is nearby, the child can still slip and fall in the pool.
If at any time a child is missing, be sure to check the pool or spa/hot tub first. When hanging out by the pool be sure to put down your cell phone and keep your eyes on the water. If there are a large number of kids it is a good idea to have a few adults who are assigned to watching the water during specific times and trading off with other parents to keep a close eye on all the children.
Obey Pool Rules
If you have your own pool it is important to set pool rules that you enforce with your family and any guests that you have swim in your pool. This helps you keep everyone safe. If you are at a hotel, neighbors pool, Airbnb House with a pool, at a public pool or at a friends house be sure to check and make sure you are aware of all the pool rules and help enforce and follow them. It can be very stressful to have multiple people in a swimming pool so it is very important to be safe when swimming with others and constantly be aware of drowning risks.
No Diving in the Shallow End
This one may seem obvious but some people still dive in the shallow end. To avoid a possible head injury it is important to always dive in the deep end.
Never Swim Alone
Drowning can happen to anyone at any time. Sometimes people hit their head when swimming, other times someone may get their hair or swimsuit caught on something causing them to be trapped underwater and other times cramping or health issues may occur. It is very important that no matter who you are or how long you have been swimming you never swim alone.
Alcohol and The Swimming Pool Do Not Mix
You should never drink and drive but the same goes for swimming. Alcohol and swimming don’t mix well and it can lead to reckless behavior. It is important to not be intoxicated when near a body of water to prevent drownings.
Pay Attention to the Weather
It is very important to get out of a swimming pool during a storm. If you hear thunder or hear lightning you should evacuate the pool immediately. Be sure to pay attention to the weather when you are planning your pool day and pay close attention to if there are thunderstorms in the forecast. Even if the lightning is off into the distance it is important to get out of the water as the storm can move closer. Water can conduct current so to be safe you will want to be out of the water.
Another thing to mention is that sometimes thunderstorms can bring big winds or lightning can strike large objects causing them to fall such as trees so it is important that when waiting for a storm to pass you head inside until it is over.
Install a Fence Around Your Pool
In some areas there are laws and regulations on the specific size and fence that you need to have installed. Be sure to check your local guidelines to see what is required to your specific area. If you are a swimming pool owner it is very safe to have a fence around your swimming pool. Most guidelines recommend the fence is at least 4 foot tall and around all sides of the pool. You should also have a locked gate for the pool area to avoid children from entering the pool area when unattended.
It is important to note that you should not have lawn furniture, trees or other things children can climb in order to get into the pool area. A fence is a safe way to create a barrier to your pool to prevent children, animals and sometimes even adults from just wandering into the body of water.
Know How to Respond in an Emergency
Finally the last swimming pool safety tip I will mention is knowing how to respond in case of an emergency. Be sure to go over this with everyone, including small children. If someone is drowning be sure children know to yell out and call for help from an adult. Small children should have an adult help pull out a child to avoid them getting pulled under water as well. You should also be sure to go over and make sure you understand CPR. This could help save someone’s life when drowning.
I hope this blog post was not too overwhelming, but it is very important to understand how to be safe when around a swimming pool. Help spread the word about Swimming Pool Safety. Share this blog post with family, a friend or even on social media.