Top Pool Safety Tips for a Healthier, Happier, and Cooler Summer!
As you’re preparing your pool and getting ready to fire up your grill for the 4th of July festivities, be sure to pause for a moment to review pool safety tips with family and friends. Before you execute that perfect cannonball, here’s a quick refresher on the importance of pool safety and some tips for keeping you and your family safe in and around the water.
But first, a word or two about the importance of pool safety: did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the country? In a ten-year period from 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 drowning deaths in the United States each year. That’s more than 10 deaths per day! More tragically still, approximately one in five fatal drowning victims are children ages 14 or younger. With “dry drowning” making for both tragic and heroic headlines recently, now is an excellent time to review pool safety tips.
Tip #1: If You’re Hosting a Pool Party, Make Sure Your Guests Know How to Swim!
Although May was National Water Safety Month, it’s never too late to enroll your child in swim lessons. Get this: the CDC estimates that the risk of drowning is decreased by nearly 90% when young children take swimming lessons. Adults and older children can benefit from refresher courses, CPR certification, or lifeguarding classes. The YMCA of Middle Tennessee and Nashville’s Parks and Recreation offers swimming lessons for children as young as 6 months. If you’re looking for private lessons tailored to your skill and comfort level, instructors from Worden Aquatics or Bubbles and Roll can help!
If you’re planning a poolside BBQ, make sure that your guests are comfortable in the water and are behaving responsibly.
Tip #2: Invest in Personal Floatation Devices and Life Saving Equipment
If you have a pool, you need flotation devices and life-saving equipment. Lots of them in every size imaginable! In fact, we recommend that all non-swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket or personal flotation device—even in the shallow end! Although those little swimmies and dinosaur floaties are super cute and noodles are tons of fun, they’re not designed to keep your little one safe.
Tip #3: Know the Signs of Drowning and Secondary Drowning
Contrary to Hollywood’s splashy portrayals, a person who’s drowning probably won’t wave their hands in the air and call for help. Drowning is, essentially, death by asphyxiation. If you’re unable to draw air into your lungs, you’re not going to be able to cry for help.
Drowning Warning Signs
If your otherwise noisy and boisterous kid has gone silent and still in the water, check in and make him or her respond verbally! If your child is unable to clearly respond or their gaze has gone blank, get them out of the water immediately. More often than not, drowning is a silent death, so keep your eyes and your ears open.
Symptoms of Dry (or Secondary) Drowning
If, after spending the day in the water, your child is coughing excessively, experiencing chest pain, is feeling unusually tired, or is having difficulty breathing, then you need to get them to the ER, stat! There’s a chance that he or she has water in their lungs and their brain isn’t getting the oxygen it needs. Needless to say, receiving medical care at this point is critically important.
Tip # 4: Designate a “Lifeguard”
It may seem extravagant to spring for a lifeguard for your backyard event, but it may be worth considering. If you’re throwing a big poolside bash for the whole neighborhood, ask around for a qualified lifeguard. Young lifeguards typically make $10-15 an hour, and are worth every penny in peace of mind. For smaller, family affairs, be sure to select a designated watcher. That person should be a strong swimmer, responsible, and attentive. He or she should also have access to and know how to use your poolside first aid kit.
Tip # 5: Pick a Swim Buddy!
Younger kids should have a swim buddy. It’s safer and way more fun! Make sure your young swimmers can identify their swimming buddy and encourage clear communication. Never leave a child unattended in the pool.
Tip # 6: Safety and Security First!
Install alarms or HD security cameras on or around all pool entrances and exits so you know who’s coming in and who’s going out. We recommend fully surrounding your swimming area with a 5- to 8-foot fence and securely locking your pool area when not in use. And finally, make sure that you have access to a phone (preferably a water-resistant one) at all times in the case of an emergency.
Tip #7: Jump On In! (Feet-first, of Course!)
Diving headfirst into a residential recreational pool can result in serious injury or death. Teach children how to jump into a pool feet-first and away from the pool’s concrete edge. Enter a pool headfirst only when the area is clearly marked for diving and when certified lifeguards are present.
Knowledge, common sense, and vigilance are the name of the water safety game. The pool-loving team at NCA Alarms wish you a safe, wet, and happy summer.