It’s heating up outside, and it’s about time to take a dip in the pool—if you haven’t already, of course! As summer draws nearer, it’s important to remember some key safety measures you and your family can follow to ensure a safer swim.
Install an enclosure. Preventing young children from getting in the water without supervision is the first step in safeguarding your pool. It’s good to have a pool enclosure (a mesh screen acting as a “roof” over your pool and the patio), to keep your pool clean and safe from animal intruders; but this is more often than not attached to the house itself, meaning if a child can get past the back door he or she can get to the pool easily. In addition to a pool enclosure, you should install a fence around the pool, with narrow gaps between bars and at least four feet high. This will ensure that, even if you leave the pool cover off for extended periods of time, or are enjoying a day outside, young kids won’t be able to get in.
Lock up the inside, too. Don’t give your child even the temptation to go outside and try climbing a fence. Get in the habit of locking the doors and windows leading out of your house (even if everyone is home) to avoid an escape attempt.
Keep an eye out. Perhaps an obvious tip, but there’s no match for the watchful eye of a parent or guardian to keep young kids away from the pool. In addition to having your windows and doors locked, know where your child is at all times. If he or she does finally take to the pool (supervised, of course!) don’t ever leave them unattended, even if you’re just running in the house for a snack.
Teach your kids, don’t scare them! Swimming isn’t just a great recreational activity the whole family can do together, it’s an important skill you can teach your kids from a young age. Always use floatation devices while swimming, and instill a sense of responsibility about using the pool. Once your child is old enough, swim classes can help achieve an overall understanding of swimming and pool safety.