It’s time for fun in the sun, and nothing says summer like a relaxing pool. But before you start your chillaxing poolside session, it’s important to keep safety in mind.
Here are nine tips to practice pool safety this season.
Keep your deck dry
One of the easiest ways to avoid accidents around your pool is to keep your pool’s deck dry. As you walk around the deck area keep drinks covered or stroll to prevent spilling, a simple task that doesn’t come to mind during pool parties or entertaining. One of the quickest ways decks accumulate excess water is upon entry and exit to the pool.
Just think about how many times you and your loved ones go in and out in a two-hour timespan? Especially when you have children who are practicing their dives or cannonballs! A handy tip is to keep towels by the pool’s entry and exit to immediately towel off or wipe away some of that extra water, even a little absorption can go a long way. This helps to minimize slippery surfaces instantly, eliminating the hazardous excess water that often gathers.
Walk rather than run
As you do your best to keep your deck dry there will still be certain areas of your pool’s deck that inevitably collect water. To help keep everyone safe and secure, always walk rather than run around the perimeter of the pool.
Beyond water accumulation, which is nearly guaranteed to happen in some spots or others, there could be bumps on the surface or any unforeseen trips or accidents. To avoid a bad situation, always encourage a slow pace around the pool rather than a hurried pace. There’s no rush, there’s plenty of time to walk.
Watch out for children and pets
Children and pets love to be part of the seasonal swim action. They sense the excitement that surrounds the pool and they want to join in on the fun. But there’s one thing that young ones and pets have in common—they don’t understand the dangers that can lurk at a moment’s notice. That’s why you must always be watchful for children and pets when they are around or near the pool.
Make sure they are always properly prepared upon pool entry (this can mean being supervised, having pool floats around for them to hold onto, staying in the shallow end), and are carefully watched upon exit from the pool not to slip. What’s common knowledge to you might go completely unnoticed to toddlers and pets, so it’s a good idea to be extra cautious.
Be cautious with the sun
You’re by the pool, a large body of water, so you simply jump in whenever it gets too hot. All of this jumping in and out makes you think you’re avoiding sun-related damage but, in actuality, it’s not. The sun can still burn the skin without proper sunblock.
However, what many people often overlook, or don’t realize, is that the sun can cause dehydration even when swimming. It’s a good idea, especially on the hotter days, to keep water or iced tea around at all times to avoid dehydration. Keep your body cool outside and inside, which will help you avoid dizziness or sickness and ensure a fun-filled day poolside.
Eye on the storm
On the opposite end of things, a great way to practice pool safety this season is to always know the weather beforehand and to keep an eye on the sky as the hours roll on. Some days, or locations, come with some unpredictable weather—rain to sun, sun to rain—which means unforeseen weather patterns can happen in an instant.
When you sense a single raindrop it’s best to walk (not run) inside to be safe. You might think a little rain is fine because you’re already wet from the pool. But, in fact, while a little rain is okay it could be only the start of a bigger storm to come. When the clouds roll in, and a drop falls, go inside and let it pass. You can always resume your fun pool time once it passes.
Have inflatables around
Pool floats are not only fun to have around but they are a tremendous help and an easy way to stay safe in the pool. There are certain things that we can’t predict in the pool—a leg cramp, accidentally swallowing too much water, a headache.
And when these things happen swimming to the side or stairs to exit the pool might not be possible. To avoid the worst, keep a pool float or two in the water at all times. This way, in the event the unpredictable does happen you can always grab the float until it either passes or help comes along.
Know your emergency plan
It’s hard to avoid accidents. So, the best plan of action is to know how to respond when they do. Teach yourself and your loved ones the proper way to respond in the event of an accident—whom to call, what to do, CPR, where the first-aid kit is, etc. It’s always better to be prepared than to have surprises hit.
Don’t swim alone
No matter how old you are, swimming alone comes with inherent risks. You could easily slip, trip, cramp up, or any of the other myriad of accidents. And if they happen while no one else is around you could be in a mess of trouble. An important part of pool safety this season is to never swim alone.
Maintain your pool
Pool maintenance is a key step in securing your pool and avoiding accidents this season. Rips, tears, leaks, or deck damage can instantly turn a fun day into an accident waiting to happen.
Before you dive right in, check all of the features of your pool and drains to ensure it’s ready to go, and recheck every few weeks to be safe.
Time to swim!