There's nothing better than relaxing in the backyard pool on a hot summer day.
Playing in the pool is also a great way to improve fitness and swimming skills, but pools can also be dangerous places.
To help prevent accidents and keep your children safe, check out these important rules and guidelines to ensure your summer doesn't end in tragedy.
Swimming Pool Rules
Make sure your pool is bound by a fence with a gate that locks. This is to prevent children from accessing the pool without supervision.
Also, any hot tubs must remain covered and remove any ladders to ensure that children don’t climb in.
Involve your children by letting them help you remove and replace the cover, if age appropriate.
Drowning can happen quickly and quietly. Whenever your children are playing in the pool it’s important that your attention is fully focused on them.
Teach your children to ask you when they want to play in the pool so it’s a time that you can give your full attention to them.
If you need to remove yourself from the pool area for any reason, ensure your children are out of the pool too.
Children are never too young to learn some basic first aid.
Teach them a few skills depending on their age and put a poster up in the pool area with key phone numbers to help remind them what to do in the case of an accident or emergency.
An alarm bell to summon help is also a good idea.
The outside of the pool, or pool deck, can become very slippery. Caution must be taken when moving around, running increases the chance of slipping over and causing serious injury! Always walk carefully around the pool deck.
Ensure that children aren’t playing games that involve running around the outside of the pool.
Play Appropriate Games
As children get older they may be keen to play games that include rowdy or rough play. It’s best to avoid any games that involve hitting, dunking, or lifting other children.
Games that involve competitions such as holding your breath should also be avoided. These can cause children to lose consciousness and result in serious injury, even death.
Provide children with appropriate pool toys and a list of safe, but fun games and challenges.
Dive With Care
Diving should really only take place from a diving board in an area of the pool that’s deep enough. Jumping off the sides can result in hitting the bottom too soon and risk causing injury.
Entry to the pool should ideally take place from the steps or ladder.
Know Your Limits
Some children are very confident in the water, and others aren't. Children should be aware of the depth of the pool and remain in their comfort zone, unless accompanied by an adult or strong swimmer.
Weaker or less confident swimmers can wear a flotation device to help keep them safe. It’s advised that children enroll in swimming lessons under the guidance of a professional to help them develop swimming skills and confidence.
Use Appropriate Toys
Use toys that are specifically for use in a pool. These are generally soft so that they don't cause damage or injury, and float so that children can find them easily.
If children are using sinking toys, supervise them very carefully to ensure they resurface safely.
No Food Or Drink
The pool area should be kept free of food and drink, especially glass bottles and containers. Eating and drinking whilst swimming may cause discomfort and distract children from safe play.
If spilled, it can also contaminate your pool, leading to extensive cleaning costs.
Plastic drink bottles filled with water are fine, in fact almost recommended to help keep children hydrated.
Sunburn is painful in the short-term and can lead to serious long-term health issues.
Ensure children are covered in appropriate SPF sunscreen and if they're in the pool, or outside for a long time, that the sunscreen is reapplied when necessary to avoid nasty sun damage.
Home swimming pools provide hours of entertainment, fun and fitness. Unfortunately, they can also be the cause of serious injury and even death.
These simple rules will ensure the safety of your children and their friends, offering years of safe pool use!
Below is a video of swimming pool safety tips and rules that all children and parents should be aware of.