Swimming Pool Safety

Pools are always a fun addition to any home and have become a staple for the hot summers. But amidst all the joy they bring, pool safety measures play a big part in it. 

A Must-Read: Best Pool Accessories

What Is Pool Safety? 

Pool safety incorporates many things—from pool equipment to pool behavior. They exist to lessen the risk of drowning, slipping, or any accidents that come with interacting with pools. 

Considering the steady rise of swimming pool popularity, pool safety is now more important than ever. The U.S. government even has a dedicated Twitter account for spreading pool safety awareness. Above all else, they prioritize safety for kids. 

However, there are many aspects to pool safety such as: 

  • Sun exposure safety
  • Pool safety for kids
  • Pool safety equipment
  • Above ground pool safety
  • Pet pool safety
  • Maintenance safety
  • ADA standards for swimming pools

Sun Exposure Safety

You may not be aware of it, but did you know that UV rays can still reach and affect you indoors? What more if you swim outdoors? 

Never underestimate the power of sunscreen. Before you step into the pool, make sure you’ve slathered yourself with some sun protection. 

Invest in a sunscreen with at least 15 SPF. Apply liberally—never thrift on sunscreen—20 minutes before stepping into the pool. 

There are, however, some sunscreens that are quick to absorb. Whatever is written on the packaging, follow that.

Pool Safety For Kids

It’s not surprising that swimming is the most popular recreational activity for kids—and even teens—alike. Their school breaks are usually timed together with the swimming season. Coincidence? I think not. 

Hence, it’s only right to establish pool safety measures for this young demographic. The most quintessential ones include (but are not limited to) the following below: 

Keep a close watch on the kids at all times. Never leave your child unattended. You’ll never know when an accident might happen. 

Be a good example. Kids imitate their idols. And most of the time, that idol is you! So, abide by the rules. 

Stay away from suction drains. Drains that are uncovered or have loose covers can gobble up hair, limbs, fabric, or basically anything light enough to be sucked in. Warn your kids about this. 

Avoid running. Pool decks can be slippery and can likely cause slipping or tripping. 

Set aside your kids’ toys. Aside from slippery floors, toys can cause people to trip over. 

Install barriers and alarms. Pool barricades are especially useful for keeping the kids away when the pool is not in use and you are not there to supervise. As an extra safety precaution, install an alarm that activates when someone falls off the pool. 

Learn CPR. Learning CPR is the ultimate preparedness move. When all else fails and prevention didn’t seem to stop the accident, performing CPR is the quickest way to turn the situation around. 

You can earn a CPR certification through CPR classes. They are available through hospitals, community centers, or the American Red Cross. 

Pool Safety Equipment

The fact is, you can’t always be possible on guard near the pool. Life happens and you will have other things in mind. 

Now, the issue is that your children have a lot of time on their hands. What happens if they come across the pool when you’re not around? This is where pool safety equipment comes in. You’re essentially child-proofing your pool to prevent any accidents as much as possible while you’re not around. 

You can lock down your pool using pool fences, pool safety nets, pool covers, and alarms. These options are further subdivided into types. 

Pool fences – a straightforward solution to keeping away children by barricading the pool with a high fence. These should be unclimbable by children. The types of pool fences are:

  • Four-sided isolation fence
  • Aluminum or steel fence
  • Wood fence
  • Composite fence 
  • Chain link fence
  • Vinyl fence
  • Perimeter fence
  • Removable pool fence

Pool covers – another simple solution to deter children from interacting with pools are pool covers. They come in two types: 

  • Mesh 
  • Solid

Pool alarms – they are usually triggered when they detect water interaction. Pool alarms can be placed around the pool perimeter, the pool itself, and even on children.

  • Gate alarm
  • Door alarm
  • Window alarm
  • Perimeter alarm
  • Wrist alarm
  • Floating/wave sensors
  • Fence/wall-mounted infrared detectors
  • Pool-mounted infrared detectors
  • Above-ground pool alarms

Beyond all these contraptions, perhaps the most important safety equipment you can invest in is an SVRS. 

An SVRS stands for Safety Vacuum Release System. It prevents suction drains from sucking in elements that aren’t supposed to be vacuumed such as: limbs, hair, swimsuit fabric, etc. 

Above-Ground Pool Safety 

It’s not any different from your typical pool safety. But while fences are optional for in-ground or commercial pools, above-ground pools MUST HAVE them. 

There are safety ladders made for above-ground pools and come into two types: lockable and unlockable. Note that the above-ground pool ladders must be removed when the pool is not in use. 

Fences are also required as well for above-ground pools. On top of that, they should also meet the height requirement (must be 4-6 ft tall) to barricade the perimeter of the pool. 

Pool covers are also available for above-ground pools. They can be used during winterization, or simply for preventing pool use. 

Pet Pool Safety

Pool safety for pets works in conjunction with pool safety for kids, but with slight variations. 

First, standard pool ladders are not designed for pets. It’s time you invest in a pet-safe pool ladder for easier access out of the pool. 

Second, it’s always advised to keep watch over them. Even if your pet is comfortable with water, they still have moments of panic sometimes, especially if your pool is large. 

Another thing is that pool covers do not work on pets. They can still mistake a pool cover for a stable surface, which can cause the cover to give out and can lead to unwanted incidents. 

Amidst all these precautions, the greatest safety measure you can give your pet is education. Teach your pet that water is a friend and that they can be comfortable with it. The more comfortable they are with water, the lesser problems you have to think about. 

Maintenance Safety 

As you know, a big part of maintaining your pool requires knowing pool chemistry. Swimming pools can be an easy breeding ground for unwanted bacteria if left uncared for. That’s why having chemicals in place is all part of basic pool care. 

The problem is that many pool owners seem to overlook managing their chemicals—from observing proper usage down to proper storage. Thankfully, pool safety addresses these issues. 

First things first, you should be familiar with the chemicals you have and the consequences they bring when mishandled. Read the instructions written on every packaging before handling them. 

Storing chemicals 

  • Keep them out of reach from children or pets
  • Store chemicals in a cool, dry, and shady place with good ventilation
  • Keep chemicals in their original containers. Never use unlabelled chemicals
  • Always keep chemicals sealed when not in use
  • Unless you want free chlorine gas, avoid storing oxidizers and acid near each other
  • Never stack containers
  • Avoid placing chemicals above your head
  • If you have a particularly small pool shed or storage room, remember to never store pool chemicals near flammable elements like gasoline, fertilizers, and so on

Handling chemicals 

  • Wear protective gear like goggles, gloves, and proper clothing
  • The area must be well-ventilated when handling chemicals
  • Be generous with measuring cups. Use clean, separate ones for each chemical. Avoid using wood scoops
  • Moisture and water can cause a reaction to chemicals. Distance your chemicals from these
  • When diluting chemicals, always add them TO the water and not the other way around unless instructions say so
  • Never mix different chemicals together
  • Leave spilled chemicals alone and don’t put them back into the container
  • Smoking near pool chemicals is a big no-no. It’s a flammable element
  • Do not expose to heat or flames

In case things go wrong…

Eyes. Should chemicals enter in your eyes, immediately rinse your eyes with clean water for 15 minutes and seek medical attention. 

Skin. Rinse the affected area immediately and seek medical attention. 

Inhalation. If you experience a burning sensation in your nose or throat, dizziness, nausea, or difficulty breathing after handling chemicals, immediately seek medical attention and look for fresh air. 

Ingestion. On the off chance that you have swallowed a chemical, contact the poison center immediately. Avoid vomiting unless instructed. 

Fire. If fire breaks lose, pay attention to the fire extinguisher you’ll be using. Avoid extinguishers for dry chemicals. Instead, douse the fire by overwhelming it with water. If that fails, call the fire department. 

Chemical spills. Read the instructions on the packaging on how to clean the chemical. In case of destructive chemical reactions, contact the fire department. 

ADA Standards For Swimming Pools 

Swimming pools are for everyone, and that includes minority groups such as the disabled. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a law that creates equal opportunities for everyone, with a disability or not. 

In order to create that equal opportunity, we should observe the following pool safety measures below. 

Sloped entries. It can be in the form of a built-in entryway or a removable ramp. 

Transfer walls. These are walls available for parking your mobility device. They must contain at least one grab bar for the disabled to hold onto. 

Accessible pool stairs. These provide alternative access, allowing extra balance and support when someone enters the pool from a standing position. 

A Few Notes 

It might seem counterintuitive to put restrictions if the goal is to have fun. However, remember that your summer won’t surely be as fun if it weren’t for adherence to pool safety. 

Swimming in a pool with well-incorporated safety measures allows for a worry-free environment and provides parents with little responsibility to think of when swimming with their children.

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