DeLuca Homes Guide For Pool Safety
Swimming pools and spas are great places for family fun. But it’s important to ensure everyone follows these simple safety steps to stay safer in and around the water.
- Never leave a child unattended in or near water. Always watch children when they’re in or near water. Designate an official Water Watcher, an adult (not another child) tasked with supervising children in the water. That should be their only task – they shouldn’t be reading, texting or playing games on their phone.
- Teach children how to swim. Swimming is not only fun, it’s a lifesaving skill. Enroll children in swimming lessons; there are many options available from your local YMCA, USA Swimming chapter or Parks and Recreation Department.
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. And always swim with a buddy. Do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
- Think defensively. Teach children to always ask permission before going near water. Have a phone close by at all times in case you need to call for help. If a child is missing, check the pool first.
- Teach children to stay away from drains. Do not play or swim near drains or suction outlets, especially in spas and shallow pools, and never enter a pool or spa that has a loose, broken or missing drain cover. Hair, limbs, jewelry or bathing suits can get stuck in a drain or suction opening. When using a spa, be sure to locate the emergency vacuum shutoff before getting in the water.
- Make sure all pools and spas have compliant drain covers. All public pools and spas must have drain grates or covers that meet safety standards. Powerful suction from a pool or spa drain can even trap an adult.
- Install proper barriers, covers and alarms on and around your pool and spa. A fence of at least four feet in height should surround the pool or spa on all sides and should not be climbable for children. The water should only be accessible through a self-closing, self-latching gate. Teach children to never climb over the gate or fence. Install a door alarm from the house to the pool area, and keep pool and spa covers in working order. Proper fences, barriers, alarms and covers can be lifesaving devices.
- Make the pool inaccessible when not in use. If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use. Remove any structures that provide access to the pool, such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment. And keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool.
- Know how to perform CPR on children and adults. Often, bystanders are the first to aid a drowning victim, so learning CPR can help save a life. And once you’re CPR certified, make sure to keep your certification current. Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
- Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.