According to data from the CPSC, about 400 children drown in swimming pools each year. If you are buying a home with a pool, or already have a pool on the premises, there are a few steps you can take to make sure everyone who uses the pool is safe.
Increase safety awareness: Watch kids – your own, or guests—when they are outside if you have a swimming pool. Even if the kids are not dressed for swimming, there is still a risk if they are near the pool. Even children that know how to swim should be supervised; non-swimmers need to wear age appropriate safety gear that fits. If a child in your care is missing, always check the pool first, even if you were not outdoors swimming.
Block access to the pool: If you have a pool, a fence is a must. It should be at least 4 feet tall and needs a gate with a lock. Pool alarms and gate alarms will both alert you to someone in the pool area – if you hear an alarm, you should check it out, particularly if you have kids at home – or neighbors with children. If you have an above ground pool, raise and lock the ladder when the pool is not in use, this will restrict access for both kids and pets.
Increase safety through education: Make sure all of the kids – and the adults in your home know how to swim. If your property search leads you to a home with a pool, take the time to learn CPR for adults and kids, and how to use basic water rescue equipment. Purchasing quality life jackets and learning to use them properly will improve the safety of your pool as well.
Your pool will give you lots of enjoyment every year, and by instituting some basic safety measures, you can make sure your family and guests stay out of harm's way.
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