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For kids ages 1 to 4, drowning is the most common cause of unintentional death. According to the CDC, home is the most common place to drown. Strict rules and a safe pool deck setup can make all the difference.
Swimming pools can be so much fun for people of all ages, but it’s also important to acknowledge the dangers and risks that pools can pose. That’s where swimming pool rules come into play. Pool rules can sometimes seem harsh or strict, but they’re a necessary part of pool safety, and it’s absolutely essential for parents to impose swimming pool rules to keep their kids safe.
This applies at public and private pools, and the more your kids know about pool safety, the better prepared they’ll be to have fun in the water. Let’s dive right in.
10 Swimming Pool Rules for Fun All Summer Long
With a private pool, the pool owner has to take responsibility for the safety of everyone who uses their pool, including family members, neighbors, and friends.
For private pools, you should generally follow many, if not all, of the same rules as a public pool. This includes the fundamental rules, like no running and diving, as well as constant supervision of children. Here are some additional rules to follow.
1. No Running
Running on a wet pool deck can easily lead to a slip and fall injury. It can also cause an unintentional fall into the pool. Always walk and wear appropriate shoes.
2. No Diving
Most home pools are quite shallow, even in the deep end. Diving at the wrong angle can lead to a head injury or death, especially in the shallow end. It’s best to avoid diving for everyone’s safety.
3. No Rough Play
Kids tend to want to splash each other aggressively or even dunk their friends under the water, which can easily lead to injuries or drowning, so it should be prohibited for safety reasons.
4. Stay Away from Drains and Covers
Pool drains and covers can be quite dangerous. Curious children might like to stick their fingers into the drains and get them stuck, for example, and heavy covers can trap kids under the water.
5. Don’t Swim Alone
Kids should also be advised never to swim alone. There are simply too many risks, and if a child is alone when something goes wrong, nobody will be around to help them (the same goes for adults and lap swimmers too). Always require adult supervision, even if they are wearing a lifejacket or using some other type of pool float.
6. Protect Your Skin
It’s easy to forget the importance of sunscreen or other sun coverings when hanging out in the pool. Skin is at a greater risk of sunburn when around water, so wear sunscreen, hats, or swim shirts to protect delicate skin. You can also avoid certain times of day when the sun is strongest, too.
7. No Pool Usage During Storms
If a storm is on the way, everyone should get out of the pool immediately and stay out until the bad weather has passed. Lightning strikes can be fatal, and people in pools are at much higher risk.
8. Don’t Leave Toys in the Pool Area
Finally, it’s recommended never to leave any toys in the pool or around the outside. Thieves could target them, and children might get distracted by them and accidentally fall or drown.
9. Keep the Pool Area Clean and Safe from Hazards
This rule has a few parts: shower before getting in, always put babies in swim diapers (normal diapers will explode), check the chemical levels often, and keep glass bottles (common with alcoholic beverages) away from the pool area and in designated areas to prevent accidental broken glass.
10. Invest in the Right Safety Tools
See more details about this in the next section.
How to Keep Your Pool Safe with the Right Setup
Playing with your kids in the pool is one of the best outdoor activities for parents to try in the summer heat, as long as they keep safety in mind. Here are a few top tips to keep in mind:
- Fence with a Self-locking Mechanism: A fence around your pool is a great idea to secure the space and prevent anyone from accessing or using the pool without permission. Opt for a fence with a self-locking mechanism for additional security.
- Layers of Protection: It’s a good idea to have multiple layers of protection. Fences, covers, barriers and even artificial grass around the pool can all help to make the space safer, with less risk of slips, falls, and problems.
- Pool Covers: Pool covers are ideal for covering up your pool water after dark or outside the swimming season. They’re helpful for protecting the water but also help prevent anyone from getting into it when they’re not supposed to.
- Pool Gates: If you’re building a pool on your own, make sure to think about gates and access to the water. Having a fence and gate around the pool can make it much more secure and give you control over how and when the water is used.
Drowning Prevention Tips for Parents
The biggest danger with swimming pools is drowning, and this is one of the leading causes of death among young children in the US today. Here are a few key tips you can follow to prevent drowning incidents:
- Emergency Plan: First, make sure you’ve got an emergency plan all laid out for what to do in case a child is at risk of drowning. Have key steps to follow so that you know exactly what to do when the emergency occurs, rather than panicking or hesitating.
- Pool Safety Equipment: In addition, it’s recommended to invest in pool safety equipment and accessories to reduce the risk of drowning. For example, handrails are helpful to give kids something to grab onto, and long poles can be put into the water to pull kids out.
Stay Safe and Have Fun This Summer
As you can see, having a pool is a big responsibility, and it’s vital for pool owners to take the necessary steps for the safety of all, such as writing out a list of swimming pool rules and ensuring that those rules are enforced and followed.