Swimming Pool Safety Tips
By Diane Tait
Image courtesy Pixabay
I know it’s only a day after Mother’s Day, but pool season has already begun in north Florida. I know this for a fact since our weekend family get together required a swimsuit. Our little reunion featured four generations, from my eighty-five-year-old mom, right down to a three-year-old great-grandson. It even included a Labrador Retriever who spent almost as much time in the pool as did the rest of the family. Between four kids running around, three dogs running around and five adults who spent most of the afternoon either flipping burgers, tending to a toddler or napping on lounge chairs, it got me to thinking about all the things that could bring our party to an ignominious end. Below are ten things you should consider before you throw your next pool party.
1. It Only Takes a Second - When it comes to getting in trouble in or around a swimming pool, all it takes is one brief second. Face it, the patio around an inground pool, or the ladder leading up to an aboveground pool is a hazard simply because it’s wet. Both children and adults can slip and fall on anything wet. Should someone slip and fall near the pool, they have a high probability of hitting their head and falling into the water. That’s why you need to establish rules for guests who use your pool.
2. Keep a weather eye on the kids. – Since pool drownings are the number one way in which children from one to five lose their lives in this country, the most important thing you can do is to always keep an eye on children when they are in or near the pool. Keep them out of the deep end as well since it’s all too easy for a child to slip beneath the surface if they can’t touch the bottom.
3. Make sure your pool has a physical barrier around it. – While my brother’s pool has an enclosure with a locking screen door that keeps trespassers from taking a dip, there’s nothing that can keep anyone who enters the pool area from the back door out of the water. To keep small kids from getting out the backdoor, he installed a door handle that’s five feet high. But a safety fence around the pool apron would be a better barrier.
4. Limit the number of inflatables. – Floating chaise lounges, swim rings and other inflatables are fun, but too many of them can obscure your view of the bottom of the pool. Your best bet is to limit their number to keep your pool safe.
Image courtesy Pixabay
5. Keep pets out of the pool. – As cute as it is to see a big dog frolicking in the pool, it isn’t safe, especially if the dog likes to dive right in. After seeing my brother’s golden lab do a half dozen belly flops into the pool, I made the decision to lure her to the backyard with her favorite plush toy. If you want to grant your pets pool privileges, do so when nobody else is around. Letting them cavort with your guests in the pool is asking for trouble that could later wind up in a court of law.
6. Limit the amount of liquor served at pool parties. – There are two reasons to limit the amount of liquor you serve at pool parties. The first is to make sure that nobody slips and falls while on your property. The second is to make sure that none of your guests is involved in an auto accident on their way home. In either case, you can be held criminally liable should any harm come to guests who you served alcohol.
7. Who wants to play lifeguard? - Like it or not, with a yard full of friends, family and pets, it’s no simple proposition to keep an eye on everyone all the time. All it takes is for you to take your eyes off the pool for a split second, only to have someone get hurt. With everyone climbing in and out of the pool, the patio a wet and slippery accident looking for a place to happen. My brother conscripted his seventeen-year-old son into playing lifeguard for the afternoon. This way the pool was safeguarded while he tended to the barbecue, which is another hazard zone.
8. Deploy the cover when your pool isn’t being used. – While it seems like a lot of trouble to deploy and remove the pool cover between uses, it’s one way to practically guarantee nobody will take a tumble into the water. It also removes temptation from for trespassers who could be tempted into taking a dip while you’re away from home.
Image courtesy Pixabay
9. Take a first aid course. – While nobody who attends a pool party expects to wind up in the ER, it’s a possibility. Guests can be injured by falling into your pool. They can be injured by falling near your pool. If you don’t know how to deal with sprains, strains, not to mention potential drownings, you could find yourself in deep trouble should someone come to harm at your home. The best cure for this potential predicament is to take a free First Aid and Lifesaving course from the Red Cross.
10. Limit the number of guests. – While you may consider yourself the life of the party, any time you invite large numbers of guests to your home, you increase your liabilities. Face it, you can’t be everywhere at once. While you’re inside, guests in the backyard could come into conflict with your dogs. A friend’s child could burn themself on your barbecue. Guests preparing to leave could back into someone else’s vehicle. The best way to host a perfect party is to limit the number of guests to a manageable amount.
Diane Tait owns and operates A&B Insurance. To find out more about how you can save money on boat insurance, go to her site