Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer's Not Over Yet! Safety Proof Your Pool!

Summer's not over yet, and I'm sure that there are many more swim days in your pool, if you are lucky enough to have one in your backyard! If you live in FL, that is almost all year around!  Pool safety is one of the most important things to maintain, when you have children around. I would like to share some helpful tips provided from Diana Goodwin, the President and the Founder of AquaMobile Swim School. She has written articles on safety-proofing your home pool. Drowning is the 2nd leading cause of injury-related death in young children, and 60% of these drownings occur at home, per Diana's article.

1. You should have multiple barriers--- have a self-closing, self-locking gate with a fence of at least 5 feet high. For above ground pools, remove the ladder after use. Fully retract the pool cover before using the pool, as a child could get stuck under the cover. Lock doors and windows of the home, to minimize the risk of children wandering out to the pool. (Barb's tip here---even if you have a little wade-in pool, definitely lock the sliding glass door to the outside. One of my friends grandchildren is about 20 months old, and he's able to open the sliding glass door!)

2.Beware of excess water---a child can drown in as little as a few inches of water---make sure that wading pools are drained. Injuries can occur with falling on slippery decks, boards, and ladders----walk, don't run!

3. Properly equip your pool--- have a first aid kit and emergency phone numbers nearby. Have at least one buoyant aid (such as a pool noodle or a flutter board) near the pool, and be prepared to use other safety equipment (lifejackets and pool safety hooks). Make sure that the safety equipment is inspected routinely to make sure that it is in working condition. Also, separate the shallow end from the deep end with a buoy line.

4. Be alert---a drowning can happen in as little as 10 seconds. Make sure that you are alert, or that there is an undistracted supervisor of the pool. If you need to be away from the pool, make sure that the child is out of the pool and at your side before doing so. When throwing a pool party, hire a certified lifeguard--highly recommended, so that you can focus on the entertaining and not worry about being distracted.

5. Maintain your pool regularly--- Whether you self-maintain your pool or have a professional do it, pools should have a pH reading between 7.2 and 7.8. Free Available Chlorine should be at least 0.5 ppm. The pool should be free of debris and hair, with the main drain visible. Chemicals should be stored in clearly labeled, sealed containers in a secure location.

6. Educate yourself and your children--- Everyone in the household should learn to swim., especially if you and your family plan to spend time near a pool or a beach. Infants can begin learning as young as 3 months old (check with your doctor first). Early water education will teach children to respect water. (Barb's thought here--- every summer that I went to my aunt's house in Delaware during the summer,
she sent us to swimming lessons. They had a pond on their property that we were able to swim in, but she wanted to make sure that we knew how to swim safely and properly.) Review basic safety rules with your children, and warn them to stay away from pool drains, filters, and covers.

One more thing to share with you all--- AquaMobile Swim School is a private swim school that offers high quality swim instruction at clients' home and condo pools in over 30 cities across Florida. For more information about AquaMobile, call 1-888-950-7946 or e-mail or visit their website at

Disclosure: I was given the information to share by Diana Goodwin, and the opinions expressed by me were my own.

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