Are you looking for a new home, or did you just purchase a new home with a backyard swimming pool? Pool access is definitely a perk when it comes to those hot summer months, but a pool can also pose a lot of risks for you and your kids. Here are a few tips to follow—and to watch for when buying a new home—to ensure the pool stays as fun as it should this summer.
1) Is your pool secure?
In order to be safe, your pool needs to have appropriate barriers. It should be completely surrounded by a 4-foot fence that has a self-latching gate. This will help you control access to your pool. The last thing you want is for one of your kids, or one of your neighbours’ kids, to wander in unsupervised. If you have an above-ground pool, take away any of the ladders or steps that are used for access when you aren’t there. If you have an in-ground pool, place a safety cover over it when it is not in use (this can and should be done with your hot tub as well). You can also install a pool alarm that will alert you if anyone enters the pool.
2) Make sure you have a lifeguard
Okay, you don’t need a certified lifeguard in your backyard, but you should always have a responsible supervisor overlooking any swim activities. Don’t let anyone swim alone, and keep the appropriate safety equipment nearby. Enrolling yourself and your family in CPR courses through the Red Cross can help ensure everyone knows how to prevent and react to emergency situations—and you can enroll in swimming lessons through the Red Cross or other local organisations, too.
3) Follow the rules
Write up some pool-side rules and make sure everyone who enters the pool area follows them. If someone can’t swim, make sure he or she wears a life jacket. Sometimes the simplest of rules are the most important to follow: make sure everyone walks when near the pool, stays away from drain covers, and refrains from diving.