Poolside Safety Tips
Promote Water Safety
There's nothing like a dip in the pool to cool off on a hot summer day. But before your children take the plunge, make sure they're well-versed in pool safety. Start by enrolling them in swimming lessons at a young age, then teach them these easy-to-follow tips from the American Red Cross.
Adult Supervision is Essential
Never let children swim alone. Keep an eye on them at all times and make sure there's basic lifesaving equipment nearby (a reaching pole, rope, ring buoy, and rescue tubes). If you regularly swim where there's no lifeguard on duty (such as your own pool), enroll in a local CPR and first aid course.
Don't Rely on Inflatable Toys
There's no harm in allowing your child to swim with inflatable toys-- just make sure they're not using them as life preservers. These toys can deflate, leak, and slip out from under kids in deep water, and create an unsafe situation.
Keep the Pool Deck Safe
Never let children run around a pool -- they can slip on standing water or fall into the pool. Enforce a no-running rule and, as a general restriction, keep glass away from the water.
Beware of Potential Hazards
Keep an eye out for potential hazards such as slippery spots or cracks on the deck, debris on the bottom of the pool, sudden drop offs, or malfunctioning equipment. And, be on the lookout for inclement weather. The National Weather Service suggests waiting at least 30 minutes after thunder or lightning before returning to the water.
Be Aware of Depth
Take "no diving" signs seriously. Jumping or diving into shallow water can cause spinal cord and other serious injuries. Also, ensure that any non-swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket and are accompanied by an adult.
Set Rest Breaks
If your children are going to play in the pool for longer than an hour at a time, set rest breaks. This simple practice can prevent fatigue for both the swimmers and whoever is watching the pool.