Congratulations! It’s National Water Safety Month. This means we made it through the winter here in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and we’re getting ready to dive into pool season.
If you’re like us, this is something worth celebrating. In fact, many of us have opened our swimming pools and are swimming. Since the month of May really starts pool season here in Tulsa, it’s time for a water safety refresher. This is important for both pool owners and the friends and family members who swim in those pools.
It’s super important to understand and appreciate the importance of water safety. You want to be able to first prevent danger, and second, if danger does occur, you want to be able to attend to it right away.
Let’s look at some water safety fundamentals in this article.
Add a Fence Around Your Pool
If you have a backyard pool, it’s always a good idea to have a fence around it. This keeps neighborhood kids and others from getting into your pool and having an accident.
You might also consider a safety fence around the perimeter of your swimming pool as another added layer of protection. This keeps your own children and pets out of the pool when there isn’t an adult outside. You’ll find that you can remove many safety fences, so you can take it down if you’re having a party of people over.
If you have an above ground swimming pool, make sure you have a safety ladder that locks. This helps keep unwanted guests out of the pool.
Finally, you can install pool alarms around your swimming pool. These alarms can tell you if someone has come in your back gate or even if they’ve gotten into the swimming pool.
There are other alarms you can buy that are made for your children and pets. They wear these bands/collars, and you get alerted if they get get submerged in the water.
Make Sure Everyone Can Swim
Even infants can learn to swim, so the most important thing you can do is make sure all of your children have swimming lessons. In addition, find out if kids who come over to play with your children can swim. This is vital knowledge.
People who know how to swim can hep keep themselves safe by swimming or treading water. Get your kids in the water early so they can learn basic safety skills and get accustomed to the water.
But, does this mean you don’t have to watch this kids? No! You want to monitor your swimming pool at all times when children are in it.
Designate a Water Watcher
One of the most important things you can do when around water in your swimming pool, hot tub, at the lake, or at the ocean, is take care of adult supervision.
The best way to prevent swimming pool and other water activity accidents is to have adult eyes on the water at all times. You want to ensure that no children, pets, or vulnerable people are unsupervised around your swimming pool.
It takes just seconds for drowning to happen, and when you have an adult water watcher, you can prevent this travesty.
According the Red Cross, most swimming pool accidents happen in residential neighborhoods. This is because commercial pools generally have lifeguards. Because home pools don’t have lifeguards, it’s up to you to create your own lifeguard situation with an adult whose sole responsibility is watching the water.
Once you have designated your water watcher, have them scan the pool every 10-20 seconds to make sure everyone is accounted for and no one is under the water in distress. It’s also a good idea to alternate the adult responsible to give proper breaks.
Follow These Tips in an Emergency
Now that you’ve got designated water watchers, it’s important the adults know what to do in case of an emergency.
First, they want to look for signs that a swimmer is in distress. Generally these people can’t call out for help. Here are some of the warning signs.
- Watch for bobbing. Kids will often bob up and down looking for the bottom of the pool. Many won’t find it because they aren’t tall enough.
- Look for people reaching out. You’ll find that people struggling will try to grab on to anything they can.
- If someone is floating face down, you want to make sure you know what they’re doing.
- Notice if someone is tilting their head. This means they are trying to stay above the water.
- If someone is coughing or even hyperventilating, this is a classic sign they’re drowning.
- Throw the person struggling in the water a flotation device. Or give them a pole to hang on to. You want to first try to give them something to hold onto before you dive into the water. If it’s a child, though, you want to jump in to help.
Next, you want to make sure you have a first aid kit nearby your pool. In addition, it’s best practice to have at least one adult know CPR. This way you’re more likely to help save a life in the case of an emergency. There are often just minutes, and sometimes the EMT’s can’t get their quick enough.
It’s easy to take CPR classes and stay certified.
Take the Water Safety Pledge
Research shows that we’re more successful at meeting goals when we join forces with others. Have all of your swimmers take the pledge!
“I’m a Safe Swimmer” Pledge:
- I pledge to never swim alone.
- I pledge to never play or swim near drains or suction fittings.
- I pledge to always dive feet first.
- I pledge to obey the pool rules.
You can really help children by also printing off the Safe Swimmer Pledge.
May is the ideal time to plan your water safety procedures, and that’s why May is National Water Safety Month.
At Fiesta Pools and Spas, we are here to help you equip your pool with safety features. Be sure and visit one of our locations today!
If you’re looking for more tips, be sure and visit the National Water Safety Month website for everything you need to know about staying safe in the pool and beyond this summer.